|Representative Image (Via: ANI)|
The member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have begun ‘Echelon, Search and Interaction special drills in Tajikistan’ near the Afghan frontier, amid fears of extremism spreading from Afghanistan into Central Asia and Eurasia,’ the post-Soviet defence alliance announced on Monday. The drills began ahead of the next round of the Moscow Format discussion on Afghanistan, which India will attend on Wednesday.
The Echelon and Search 2021 joint exercises, as well as the Interaction special drills, were opened at the Kharbmaidon practice range of the Republic of Tajikistan’s armed forces on October 18 as part of the CSTO’s Combat Brotherhood 2021 exercise, according to the statement.
At the inauguration ceremony, Tajikistan’s Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Emomali Sobirzoda, noted that the situation in Central Asia remained critical in light of recent developments in Afghanistan. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that while ties with the temporary Taliban administration should be maintained, he would not recognize the regime in haste.
“The Central Asian area receives special attention from us. The situation in and around the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan continues to be the primary cause of unrest. This is why, as part of the combined training, we are conducting three drills at the same time for the first time “Colonel-General Anatoly Sidorov, Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff, spoke during the event.
A coordinated operation to contain a border armed conflict will be practised by the CSTO. They will also deal with logistics support in the preparation and execution of the combined operation.
Over 4,000 troops have participated in the manoeuvres.
Military contingents from CSTO member states participate in the drills, which include mobile constant alert units and formations armed with advanced weapons and military (special) hardware, operational groups of the CSTO Joint Staff and Secretariat, special operations police forces, security agencies, and special services and emergencies personnel.