During the Geneva negotiations (dubbed “Yalta 2”), held on 16 June 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the request of his US counterpart Joe Biden for permission to open military bases in the countries bordering Afghanistan. However, he suggested – perhaps seriously, perhaps in jest – that the United States may wish to use Russia’s bases in those locations.
At the secret meeting between Russian and US chiefs of staff, which took place in Helsinki on 22 September 2021, General Valery Gerasimov reformulated the offer made by President Putin. Russia intends to retain control of its inner space, but would not be opposed to the United States continuing to act in Afghanistan. Moscow clearly differentiates between the former Soviet republics and Afghanistan, which was never part of the USSR.
On 30 September 2021, Defense Secretary Lylod Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and CentCom Commander Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. reported to the Senate behind closed doors, confirming that they are considering the Russian proposal.