Afghan crisis: Russia ready to mediate; Putin slams US

Moscow: Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan are interested in serving as mediators in resolving the crisis in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“We remain committed to the task of establishing peace and stability on Afghanistan’s territory so that it poses no threats to the region,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov also said Russia opposed the idea of allowing Afghan refugees to enter Central Asia, the former Soviet region that lies between Russia and Afghanistan, or having US troops there.

“If you think that any country in Central Asia or elsewhere is interested in becoming a target so that the Americans could fulfill their initiatives, I really doubt anyone needs that,” he told a briefing during a visit to Hungary.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the United States and its allies for leaving Afghanistan in the chaos that raises potential security threats for Russia and its allies in Central Asia.

“There is a danger that terrorists and different groups that found a refuge in Afghanistan will use the chaos left by our Western colleagues and try to launch an expansion into neighboring countries. That will pose a direct threat to our country and its allies,” Putin said addressing a Kremlin party meeting.

Putin noted that Moscow has learned the lessons of the 10-year Soviet war in Afghanistan and will stay away from turmoil in Afghanistan.

“We don’t have any intention to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and, moreover, let our military forces be drawn into the all-against-all conflict,” he said.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Wikimedia)

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