Russia sees no need for US military bases in central Asia when the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan wanes, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.
"The threat of terrorism is still coming from Afghanistan, but there is almost no need for active combat operations. As the threat fades, it would be right to restore the previous state of affairs," Lavrov said on a television show on current events.
With the reduction of the terrorist threat in Afghanistan, there will be no need for the bases in central Asia, which Russia regards as "the implementation of existing understandings on removing the threat of terrorism," the top Russian diplomat said.
Lavrov spoke of withdrawal of US bases a day after he got assurances from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who paid a surprise visit to Moscow over the weekend to meet Russian leaders primarily on Iran, that Washington had no plans to set up new military bases in central Asia after Uzbekistan ordered a shutdown of the US base in the country by the end of the year.
Lavrov underlined Russian bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as part of a collective security treaty of former Soviet countries.
"With the common agreement of treaty countries, these bases are a component of the rapid reaction force that is being formed to curb attempts to undermine stability in the region by terrorists, drug traffickers, organized criminals and so on," he said.