MOSCOW — The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, said that his government will not be in the domestic affairs of Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the war-torn country.

“Naturally, we will not interfere in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs, nor will our armed forces be drawn into this all-against-all conflict. I think this is what is going on there,” said Putin.

He said that the situation in Afghanistan is “difficult and alarming,” and Russia is keeping a close eye on it.

“You know how difficult and alarming the situation in Afghanistan currently is,” said Putin.

“We are keeping a close eye on this situation, actively cooperating with our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (an intergovernmental military alliance in Eurasia that consists of selected post-Soviet states).” 

He said that the conflict in Afghanistan has been smoldering for decades and added, “The former Soviet Union has its own experience in that country. We have learned the lesson.”

Putin also discussed the situation in Afghanistan with Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, over a telephonic conversation.

“While discussing the situation in Afghanistan, both sides stressed the importance of maintaining peace and security in the country, preventing violence, and establishing an inter-Afghan dialogue that would facilitate the formation of an inclusive government that takes into account the interests of all segments of the population,” said Putin in a statement.

The statement also said it was agreed to coordinate approaches to the Afghan issue in bilateral and multilateral formats. At the same time, it was noted that it would be appropriate to use the capabilities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in ensuring regional stability and the fight against terrorism and the drug threat.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces.

On Aug. 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul and gained complete control over the Afghan capital within a few hours.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent bloodshed and subsequently fled the country.

Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that under the constitution, he becomes “the caretaker president” in the president’s absence and called for armed resistance against the Taliban.

The northern province of Panjshir is the only pocket of resistance to the Taliban. It is led by Ahmad Massoud, a son of Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001), an influential leader of Afghanistan’s Tajik community who fought against the Taliban back in the 1990s.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra



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