MOSCOW (Reuters) -Government forces plan a counteroffensive in Afghanistan’s northern provinces after losing ground to the Taliban, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted an adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as saying on Monday.
National security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who was in Moscow on Monday for talks with senior security officials, told RIA in an interview that government forces had not expected the Taliban offensive but would “absolutely, definitely” counterattack.
Russia operates a military base in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic bordering Afghanistan.
Russia’s foreign ministry said separately on Monday that the Russian consulate in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan was suspending its work because of security concerns, TASS news agency reported.
(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alex Richardson and Timothy Heritage)