Afghans Assailed for Unlicensed Arms

A senior diplomat told Afghanistan on Wednesday to stop using illegal copies of weapons and to instead buy authentic, Russian-made hardware.

"We cannot but be amazed that Afghanistan buys and uses weapons built with Russian technology, but not under Russian license," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin said, RIA-Novosti reported.

"It would be proper if such weapons were delivered from Russia and not from third countries," Borodavkin said.

Moscow lost its influence in Afghanistan in 1989 when Soviet troops withdrew after a bitter decade-long intervention in support of Kabul's communist government.

Russia, which expects to make a post-Soviet record of $8 billion from arms exports in 2008, repeatedly has called for stricter control of licensed weapons technologies, particularly its popular Kalashnikov machine gun.