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Afghanistan Wants to Buy Russian Mi-35 Military Helicopters to Counter Terrorists

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Kabul is interested in buying Russian-made Mi-35 military helicopters to combat militants in the region.

Afghanistan Wants to Buy Russian Mi-35 Military Helicopters to Counter Terrorists

Photo: US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Angelita Lawrence

On Monday, the security adviser to the Afghan president, Hanif Atmar, told the TASS news agency that Afghanistan is interested in buying Russian-made Mi-35 combat helicopters to combat terrorists.

“We need combat helicopters and other weapons to rebuff terrorist groups acting in the Afghan territory more efficiently,” Hanif Atmar said. “Now we have obsolete modifications of Russian combat helicopters. We would like to replace them by more modern Mi-35 rotorcraft and to organize training of pilots and technical personnel to service these helicopters. This is issue is of top priority importance for us at the moment.”

According to the security adviser, there is a symbiosis of militant groups, including the Taliban movement, the Islamic State and al Qaeda, in the territory of Afghanistan.

Government forces are fighting extremist groups in the country. On July 26, a spokesman for the local governor said that Saeed Emarati, the ISIS senior militant, who was recently appointed the group’s local commander, was killed by the Afghan forces in the eastern Nangarhar province.

Atmar also noted that Afghanistan has a common enemy with Russia and other countries of the region. “However we have no common strategy of countering this enemy. We think that it is necessary to involve countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the elaboration of such strategy, and Russia has a special role in these efforts,” he added.

Afghanistan is currently enjoying an observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Talking about the prospects of the country for a full-fledged membership in the organization, the security adviser to the Afghan president underlined that “Kabul relies on Moscow’s assistance as no consensus has yet been reached on that matter within the SCO.” He also pointed out that Afghanistan is ready for the SCO membership and is capable of fulfilling all the requirements of the organization’s founding documents.

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