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Afghanistan crisis: NSA Ajit Doval to hold talks with top Russian security official on September 8

New Delhi: India and Russia will hold consultations on the Afghanistan situation in Delhi on Wednesday (September 8, 2021), a direct outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talks on August 24. The Wednesday talks will be led by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and the visiting Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation General Nikolay Patrushev.

A release by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said, “At the invitation of National Security Adviser Ajit K Doval, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, General Nikolay Patrushev is visiting India for High-Level India-Russia Inter-Governmental Consultations on Afghanistan.”

The meeting will come a day after the Taliban announced the name of the new cabinet. Under the new list, Mullah Hassan Akhund will be the head of the government and will have two deputies namely Mullah Baradar and Mawlavi Hanafi.

The situation in Afghanistan is seen as a security challenge to both India and Russia. While for New Delhi, Afghanistan could become a safe haven for Pakistan-based terror groups, for Moscow, a spillover of the crisis can impact friendly central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The next few months will see increased India and Russia engagement.

India, notably, will host the BRICS virtual summit on Thursday which will be chaired by Narendra Modi and will also see the participation of Vladimir Putin.

Putin is also expected to visit India later this month for the much-awaited annual India-Russia bilateral summit.

Earlier on August 24, Modi and Putin, during the 45-minute long conversation, had decided to form a “permanent bilateral channel” for consultations on Afghanistan.