Tuesday, November 30

Vladimir Putin Warns the West to Stop Meddling in Afghanistan | Vladimir Putin


Vladimir Putin has demanded that countries not interfere in Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul, saying the West “must stop the irresponsible policy of imposing foreign values ​​from abroad.”

In extended remarks, Putin said he hoped the Taliban would “ensure the safety of local and foreign diplomats” and that the country would not disintegrate after the withdrawal of US-led forces.

“You can’t call it a success,” he said when asked about the US-led intervention in Afghanistan, which was launched in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC. “But it is not in our interest at this point to stand up at this point and speak of this as failure. We were interested in the situation in the country remaining stable ”.

Speaking in the Kremlin during a “farewell summit” with Angela Merkel, the outgoing German chancellor, Putin said he was concerned that militants from Afghanistan would try to infiltrate nearby countries under the guise of refugees. Russia has conducted military exercises with central Asian states and with China in recent weeks as concerns have grown that the return of the Taliban to power could lead to border clashes.

Putin attacked Western support for the previous Afghan government, saying it was counterproductive to try to “build democracy in other countries according to foreign models.”

The comments clearly addressed a key dispute between Moscow and the West that has played out in the conflicts in Syria and Libya and even in protests in Russia itself, as Putin has accused the West of backing his opposition.

Regional powers such as Russia, China and especially Pakistan are expected to increase their influence in Afghanistan as the Western coalition executes a hasty and chaotic withdrawal from the country. The Russian embassy has remained open and has been in contact with the Taliban, as the militant group took over for the first time since 2001.

Merkel has met Putin more than 30 times during her 15 years as Germany’s leader and has openly lobbied for a dialogue with Russia, even as many other countries in Europe believe Putin can no longer be reasoned with.

Merkel and Putin during the press conference
Merkel and Putin during the press conference. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko / AFP / Getty Images

During the press conference, he asked Russia to release opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in prison for a clearly political sentence. Navalny was poisoned by a novichok agent in a botched attempt on his life a year ago on Friday.

“I demanded the release of Alexei Navalny and emphasized that we will continue to pursue this case,” Merkel said. On Friday, the UK sanctioned seven members of Russia’s FSB security service accused of participating in the nerve agent attack.

The two leaders also discussed the war in Donbass, where Russia has complained of a stalled peace process between the Kiev government and the separatist movement it controls in the southeast of the country.

Shortly after the two leaders met, Russia declared TV Rain and several other prominent independent media “foreign agents” in the latest outbursts of a broad crackdown on press freedom in the country.

Despite the tensions between the two leaders, the summit began with an air of coexistence, as Putin delivered a bouquet of flowers to Merkel in the Kremlin during what the German leader called “my farewell meeting … but also work.” .

Putin called Germany “one of the main partners for us in Europe and in the world, partly due to its efforts over the past 16 years,” while giving Merkel a fleeting smile before the talks began.


www.theguardian.com

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