Struck through the bases: Pentagon and Russian Ministry of Defense discuss joint deployment

Ivan Zhukovsky

Senior Pentagon commanders discussed with Russian officers a proposal by Russian President Putin to jointly use Russian military bas-es in Central Asia to co-mbat terrorist threats in Afghanistan. This was re-ported by The Wall Street Journal with reference to American officials.
General Mark Milli, ch-airman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, raised the issue at a meeting with the Russian Chief of the General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov. Their conversation took place in Helsinki a week ago, on September 22.
The WSJ, citing sour-ces, reported that Gerasim-ov was “evasive” during the meeting. “It was a productive meeting. When the military leaders of the great powers communicate, the world becomes a safer place, ”General Milli said earlier. The issue of the joint use of Russian bases was raised by Millie “at the request of the US President’s Council on National Security,” the WSJ said.
Joe Biden’s administration is trying to strengthen its position after leaving Afghanistan and intends to strengthen monitoring of potential terrorist threats in the region.
“The idea of working together with Russia to fight terrorism is facing political obstacles. Congress passed a law a few years ago, according to which close military cooperation with Moscow is prohibited while Russian troops are in Ukraine – unless the Minister of Defense makes an official exception, ”the report says.
It is worth noting that Russia denies accusations of a military presence on the territory of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. Observers OSCE also recognized that the Russian troops in Ukraine. The discussion of the j-oint work of Milli and Ger-asimov is a continuation of the summit in Geneva, at which the presidents of the Russian Federation and the US, Putin and Joe Biden, discussed the prospects for relations between the two powers. As reported by the newspaper “Kommersant”, citing sources, Putin made Biden an offer to jointly use the Russian bases.
In this regard, the US National Security Council asked Millie to clarify how serious this proposal was. The Kremlin declined to comment on the issue, as did Mark Milli’s spokesm-an, Colonel Dave Butler.
At the same time, the United States does not ask Moscow for permission to deploy its troops closer to Afghanistan, a source said in a conversation with the WSJ. However, Washing-ton would like to better understand what Vladimir Putin wanted to say.
“The reality is that Russia is part of the regional equation, and therefore we interact with it,” added the WSJ interlocutor.
Afghanistan has previously acted as a factor in “joining efforts” between Russia and the United States. In 2012, NATO was given the opportunity to use the Russian Air Force base in Ulyanovsk to transport cargo from Afghanistan through it. “The threat of the spread of radical Islam near the Russian borders worries Moscow extremely. That is why Russia allows air, rail and road deliveries of cargo for NATO through its territory, ”said RAND Corporation analyst Seth Jones.