// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2019. No 2(57). P. 21-33
The article explores the current stage of the Afghan peace process, including its specifics vis-a-vis previous negotiations on the Afghanistan, as well as the dynamic interplay of talks, primarily along the U.S.-Taliban track, and continuing use of force on the ground. It looks at some of the main external and internal, international and domestic impediments to progress in negotiations. It tries to explain how, by the late 2010s, Russia has turned from a former post-Soviet outsider on the Afghan matters into a major diplomatic actor and an important mediator in the peace process. Russia’s main diplomatic initiatives on Afghanistan (the Moscow format for regional peace consultations and the inter-Afghan dialogue in Moscow) are analyzed, also in comparison to other negotiation tracks. The article explores how these two initiatives, as well as consultations along the U.S.–Russia line, in the U.S.–Russia–China format etc., help advance Russia’s interests and fit into the broader context of Russian foreign policy, such as its regionalization and tense relations with the United States and the West. The article concludes with prospects for Russia’s further input into the peace process in four main directions: in the inter-Afghan context, in terms of overall management of the negotiating process, at the regional level, and at the international/UN level.
Afghanistan, armed conflict, United States, Taliban, peace process, Russia, regionalization, regional peace consultations, inter-Afghan dialogue, China, Pakistan, Iran
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