During President Karzai's visit, Afghanistan and Russia are likely to sign agreements on political, social, economic, and defense cooperation initiatives.
President Hamid Karzai is in Moscow this week for the first bilateral summit between the two countries in two decades. The last Afghan president to visit Moscow on a state visit was Mohammad Najibullah, the final Soviet-backed president during whose term in office the Soviet Union withdrew forces.
Now, Russia is keen to play an increasingly larger role in the country and is gradually expanding the range and intensity of its engagement.
IN PICTURES: Afghanistan aid
During Karzai's Moscow visit, Afghanistan and Russia are likely to sign agreements on political, social, economic, and defense cooperation initiatives, including the possible revival of some key infrastructure projects that had been implemented by the Soviet Union. Russia is keen not to only provide aid and training to Afghans, but to secure a piece of the aid pie for its businessmen in exchange for technical expertise.
Rehabilitation of the Salang tunnel, the main artery connecting northern Afghanistan to the south, for example, could be done with Russian expertise and international aid, say Russian officials.