Moscow says NATO continues to bear responsibility for the security situation in Afghanistan, even though the UN-mandated international security force ended its mission on December 28.
In a December 31 statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) "failed to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan during the 13 years of the ISAF presence."
The statement said Moscow views NATO's Resolute Support mission -- although it is limited mainly to providing security training and consultation -- as "the direct successor of ISAF."
On December 29, Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special representative for Afghanistan, told the news agency Interfax that he saw signs the Taliban intends to "mount a major offensive" in Afghanistan in the spring.
He added that representatives of the militant group Islamic State are in Afghanistan trying to recruit supporters.
Kabulov also said that Moscow ultimately backed the Resolute Support mission after initially criticizing it because "it is better than nothing."