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Afghanistan Needs Support, Starting with West Unfreezing Kabul’s Assets, Putin Explains

Dec. 28, 2021 (EIRNS)—The first step needed to help Afghanistan today, is to unfreeze its assets before its people are plunged into famine, with grave consequences for the entire region, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at the conclusion of his annual Dec. 23 year-end press conference, when Sputnik news agency asked if Russia recognizes the Taliban government and what the outlook is for Russian-Afghan relations?

“I would like the relations between Russia and Afghanistan to develop in the best possible way,” Putin responded.

“I am referring to our mutual interests in stabilizing the region. For us, this is not idle talk, since we have open borders with the Central Asian republics ... and naturally, the possibility of extremist infiltration raises understandable concerns. Among other things, there is the continuing flow of drugs from Afghanistan; some 90% of the opiates on the global market are Afghan-made. This is another alarming factor, of course.

“As for recognizing it, generally, we need to proceed from reality, assuming that the forces that now lead Afghanistan are setting their minds on having all ethnic groups represented in the country’s government. I think this is the only alternative that can, hopefully, pave the way for stabilization in Afghanistan.

“What do we need to do now? We definitely need to help the Afghan people. This should primarily be done by those countries that have caused such enormous damage, such harm to the Afghan economy and Afghan society. Those who have been there for 20 years, have destroyed the local economy—they must be the first to provide assistance.

“For our part, we will do everything that depends on us. But the first thing to do here is to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets, the money it had in foreign, primarily American, banks, in order to provide the required assistance to the Afghan people. Otherwise, the country could plunge into famine; there will be grave consequences that will affect the neighboring states as well.

“As for recognition, we are working collectively with all parties in international communication. We have our own position, and I have explained it clearly enough just now. But we will strive to achieve a consolidated approach,”

he concluded.

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