New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the security chiefs of the other countries participating in the Fifth Regional Dialogue on Afghanistan held in Moscow on Wednesday.
According to a statement of the Russian Security Council, the Russian President in his remarks to the heads of delegations taking part in the multilateral consultations hit out at the US for “fleeing” Afghanistan in August 2021 during the Taliban takeover.
He also said that international terror organisations are stepping up their activities in the Taliban ruled country.
“Unfortunately, since the American armed forces fled Afghanistan, the situation has not improved. International terrorist organisations are stepping up their activities, including al-Qaeda which is building up its potential. You know this very well.
“We are also worried about attempts to use the situation in Afghanistan to allow extra-regional forces to expand or build their infrastructure. These countries will create this under the pretext of countering international terrorism, but they are not doing anything that is really necessary in the real counterterrorism struggle,” Putin said.
“Obviously, the situation in the country is not improving and we see this. The humanitarian situation is worsening. Millions of people – about 4 million people according to our information – are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Drug trafficking is on the rise, and unfortunately, the fields are growing, too. I think 80 percent of opiates in the world market are from Afghanistan,” Putin said.
“The situation is very complicated, but we are doing all we can to find solutions. We have contacted the country’s leaders in Kabul. We know there are plans to implement large economic projects that could stabilise the situation in the economy,” he added.
The Fifth Multilateral Consultations of Secretaries of Security Councils on Afghanistan was held in Moscow on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by high representatives in charge of security issues from India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Russian side was represented by Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
Issues of international security were discussed with an emphasis on resolving the situation in Afghanistan. The importance of fulfilling the international obligations assumed by the current Kabul authorities to counter terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking, as well as to form an ethno-politically balanced government and to respect human rights was noted, a Russian government statement said.
At the meeting, a number of additional practical measures were proposed aimed at expanding joint actions in counterterrorism, as well as at cutting off channels for financing terrorism, intensifying cooperation in combating transnational organized crime, illegal arms and drug trafficking, as well as preventing illegal migration.
The significance of joining efforts in solving complex problems in the area of security, continuing a constructive dialogue and finding efficient solutions that are adequate to the challenges and threats emanating from the territory of Afghanistan was underscored.
It was agreed to continue the practice of holding multilateral consultations of the Secretaries of Security Councils on Afghanistan on an annual basis.
Besides NSA Ajit Doval, the meeting was attended by Iran’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, Kazakhstan’s Presidential Aide and Secretary of the Security Council Gizat Nurdauletov, Kyrgyzstan’s Secretary of the Security Council Marat Imankulov, China’s Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui, Tajikistan’s Secretary of the Security Council Nasrullo Mahmudzoda, Turkmenistan’s Ambassador to Russia Batyr Niyazliyev, Uzbekistan’s Secretary of the Security Council Viktor Makhmudov, Russia’s security chief Nikolai Patrushev, and Aide to the Russian President Yury Ushakov.