Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the United States and its allies for withdrawing from Afghanistan and the country’s current chaos that increases potential security threats to Russia and its allies in Central Asia.
Addressing a congress of the Kremlin’s ruling party, United Russia, on Tuesday, Putin said the militants could use the unrest to destabilize the former Soviet Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan, the AP reported.
“There is a danger that terrorists and various groups who have taken refuge in Afghanistan will take advantage of the chaos left by our Western counterparts and try to spread this unrest to neighboring countries,” Putin said, stressing that it could pose a direct threat to Russia and its allies.
At the same time, Putin said that Moscow had learned the lessons of the ten-year Soviet war in Afghanistan and that it would stay away from the turmoil in Afghanistan.
“We have learned the necessary lessons,” Putin said, reiterating that Russia has no intention of interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and, moreover, of allowing Russian military forces to be drawn into the conflict.