Last week, Senator John McCain said that Russia is propping up the Taliban to undermine U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. Speaking on WBUR, Carnegie’s Andrew Weiss explained the motivation behind Russia's presence in Afghanistan:

“We’re talking about harassment and efforts by the Russians to undermine the United States- and NATO-led military effort [in Afghanistan]. What we’ve seen in recent days is the Russians trying to build a diplomatic profile on Afghanistan that circumvents what the U.S.-led effort is about and circumvents the government of Afghanistan itself... They’re building bridges to the Taliban, the radical group which ruled Afghanistan before the U.S. military intervention in 2001. And they’re trying to legitimize the Taliban.”

This interview was originally broadcast on WBUR’s Here & Now.