Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference with Frederica Mogherini, the European Union's Foreign Policy chief, following their meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
MOSCOW - 15 December 2017: Washington demands Kabul buy US-made weapons instead of 50,000 Kalashnikov rifles its security forces received gratis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"The Americans insist that 50,000 Kalashnikov rifles with munitions that were handed over to the Afghan security forces free of charge be removed from operational use and Afghanistan buy US-made rifles and submachine guns instead," he said at a government-hour session at Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, TASS reported.
"Along with a question where these 50,000 rifles are to go, and we have asked the Afghans about that, we have another question: what is the reason behind these plans to strip the Afghan army of the possibility to use weapons it is accustomed to and to make it use what it is yet to get comfortable with," he said.
The Russian top diplomat recalled that the United States had earlier demanded Afghanistan reject Russian helicopters that had been in wide use in the Afghan army and had proved their worth to replace them with US-made rotorcraft. "There is no answer to this question other than that the Americans are seeking to militate against us just for the fun of it," Lavrov noted.