US repeating Soviet mistakes’

Aunohita Mojumdar; 3/12/09

For the first time since the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989, and the subsequent fall of the Najibullah government in 1996, Russia says it is ready to play a greater political and economic role in the country it formerly occupied. It has co-operated with Nato and other western deployments, opening up transit routes for international forces and initiating bilateral co-operation with Kabul. Andrey Avetisyan, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan, says Moscow supports the continuing presence of international troops in Afghanistan. However he worries that the international community, especially the US, are committing the same mistakes made during the Soviet occupation. Al Jazeera interviewed the Russian envoy at his country’s new embassy in Kabul.