Russia accuse Afghan president of fleeing with 'carloads of cash'
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Glen D. VanHerck, commander of United States Northern Command, spoke of the grave threat Russia poses to American security on Tuesday. He identifies the Cold War adversary as the nation’s main danger. He gave his explanation as to why at a Centre for Strategic and International Studies online forum, pointing to “developed capabilities that didn’t exist 20 years ago”.
This includes the ability to strike America from inside Russia with advanced cruise missiles.
General VanHerck said allied intelligence is aware of “very low radar cross-section cruise missiles [and] submarines on par with our submarines”.
Investment in cyber and space capabilities reinforces the threat, he said, suggesting the Kremlin’s intent is to “create deterrence for themselves, destroy our will and delay or degrade our ability to project forward”.
He spoke as Russia discussed the “negotiability” of the Taliban in light of their takeover of Afghanistan.
Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s presidential envoy to Afghanistan, said on state television on Monday: “If we compare the negotiability of the colleagues and the partners, I have long since decided that the Taliban is much more able to reach agreements than the puppet government in Kabul.”
Dmitry Zhirnov, Russian ambassador to Afghanistan, described the country’s situation as “peaceful and good” on Monday.
Zhirnov added: “Everything has calmed down in the city.
“The situation in Kabul now under the Taliban is better than it was under Ashraf Ghani.”
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Despite ploughing billions of pounds over two decades into the country Afghanistan forces folded within weeks in the face of the Taliban – who had inferior numbers and equipment.
It is feared Russia could now use its power to try and influence the Taliban.
The news emerged as Russia was accused of using a Brit at the UK’s embassy in Berlin to spy for it.
German federal prosecutors said David Smith allegedly passed documents to Russian intelligence “at least once” in exchange for an “unknown amount” of money.
He was arrested in Potsdam outside Berlin last week. A rented flat he lived in and his workplace have been searched.
The German Foreign Ministry said it is taking the case “very seriously”.
The arrest was the result of a joint UK-German investigation, it said.
Relations between Russia and the West have become increasingly strained in recent years, in part prompted by the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer, in Salisbury three years ago.
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