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Russia Mulls Establishing Bases in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Is Russia returning to Afghanistan?  It could presumably happen but not the same way as it did before.

In 1980, the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, taking over the country.  By the end of the decade, it left in defeat, helping to hasten the downfall of the Soviet Union.

Today, Moscow officials and NATO are working on a plan that might allow Russia to establish bases in Afghanistan although they would only be used to repair military hardware.

Unlike the 1980s, Moscow contends such an operation would be intended to assist the government in Kabul.

While Russia has no military presence in Afghanistan now, the U.S. has purchased some Russian weapons, including helicopters, for Afghan military forces.

Russia has an interest in a stabilized Afghan government, worrying that a revival of the Taliban and their militant allies could threaten its own borders.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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