MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Russia's envoy to a Eurasian political and military bloc said Wednesday the NATO withdrawal this year may leave Afghanistan without international support.
NATO combat operations are expected to end this year. The U.S. government said its obligations may end sooner than later unless the Afghan government signs on to a bilateral security agreement.
Kirill Barsky, Russian envoy to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, said there are no plans to move in behind NATO's wake in Afghanistan.
"The SCO is not prepared to assume the responsibility of ensuring security in Afghanistan itself," he told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last year Afghan forces weren't ready to take full responsibility over national security.
Barsky said SCO would, however, play a role by working with the six members and five observer nations on terrorism and narcotics threats emanating from the region.
British forces helped train their Afghan counterparts from bases in Helmand province. James Bevan, British high commissioner to India, said last week "Afghanistan is too important and still too fragile to be abandoned by the international community."