VLADIVOSTOK (TASS): Despite developments in Afghanistan, the West is reluctant to stop imposing its standards on other countries, and developed countries aren’t providing enough assistance to others in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Friday.
“The reality is that the Taliban movement now controls almost all of Afghanistan,” Putin pointed out. “So, we should be guided by reality,” he added.
According to him, the country’s disintegration is what poses the main threat to Moscow. “Russia is not interested in a disintegrated Afghanistan. If it happens, there will be no one to talk with,” Putin noted.
At the same time, in his words, the situation in Afghanistan can be described as a disaster. “It is a disaster because the Americans, who are very pragmatic people, spent over $1.5 trillion on this campaign, and what’s the result? And if we look at the number of people left in Afghanistan, who used to work for the collective West, the United States and its allies, then it will be clear that it is a humanitarian disaster, too,” the Russian president stressed.
Putin called for bearing in mind the realities, such as the Taliban’s control of nearly the whole territory of Afghanistan.
“The realities as they are, the Taliban movement controls nearly the whole territory of Afghanistan, except for Panjshir and the adjoining territories to the north, small territories that border on Tajikistan. If this is so, we must proceed from the realities,” Putin said. He recalled that the movement was not homogenous and incorporated mostly Pashtun tribes.
“In the territory of Afghanistan today there are many representatives of other organizations, including extremist ones: the Islamic State and so on. Many people, including radical elements, have been released from jail,” Putin said.
Putin said that he had discussed Afghanistan “with many counterparts” lately. The events in Afghanistan pose a threat to the Asian countries neighboring Russia, and consequently, Russia as well, he explained.
“In the event of [Afghanistan’s] disintegration, there will be nobody to talk to in Afghanistan. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and many others in the territory of Afghanistan pose a threat to our allies and neighbors. And if we remember that we have no visa restrictions and cross-border travel is actually free, it will be clear that for us, for Russia, all this has great importance from the standpoint of maintaining our security,” Putin said.
At the same time, he believes it is necessary to pool efforts, to struggle with problems together and to achieve the legalization of political forces in Afghanistan.
“It is crucial to do this, to pool efforts. But when I see some high-ranking officials, in the very same United States, say that ‘first we will use force to liberate’ and then focus efforts on the further struggle against China or Russia, I feel like telling them: first you should sort things out with those you have been fighting against for the past 20 years, and then start talking about resistance to Russia and China,” Putin said.
He urged everybody to never forget that the US introduced its troops to Afghanistan after the heinous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and that the whole operation was devoted to the fight against terrorism.
“Unity is required to effectively resist terrorism, which is precisely the reason why the US forces were moved to Afghanistan, and to struggle against drug trafficking and organized crime. These are common threats and they can be effectively fought against only by presenting a common front,” Russian President Vladimir Putin added.
“If a nation needs democracy, it will end up establishing it so there is no need to do that by force,” Putin emphasized. However, even after Afghanistan, the West continues to pursue the same practice. “As for Afghanistan, they say: we got there and made a lot of mistakes. However, the same process continues in relation to other countries. What are sanctions? They are a continuation of the same policy aimed at imposing their standards,” he specified.
Still, there is hope that Western countries “will realize that acting like before and trying to civilize other nations is a failed policy.”
“It is the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council, particularly its five permanent members, that should be responsible for maintaining global order,” Putin pointed out.
Also, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the Eastern Economic Forum that Beijing calls for pooling efforts to implement a global security concept.
“We should pool our efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region, overcome differences and enhance mutual understanding through dialogue and consultations, implement the concept of comprehensive and stable global security for the construction of our common home where harmony and calm will reign,” he pointed out.