Thursday, May 9, 2013


Putin warns of worsening Afghan situation

MOSCOW,- The situation in Afghanistan may worsen in the near future, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

"There are all reasons to believe that in the nearest future we may face an aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan," Putin told a meeting with the national Security Council.

The president said the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) had failed to defeat terrorism and radical groups in Afghanistan. On the contrary, he noted, the latter's activities had been rising lately, which directly threatened Russia's national security.

"International terrorists and radical groups don't conceal their plans to export instability," Putin said, naming Russia and Central Asian states among the countries being targeted by Afghan extremists.

He slammed the ISAF for "practical inaction" in uprooting drug production in Afghanistan and ignoring Russian offer of assistance.

Putin offered to enhance Russia's security in the region, using the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. He expressed Moscow's eagerness to support Central Asian countries in economic, military-technical and humanitarian areas.

Afghanistan is to hold presidential and local elections in 2014, and the ISAF will be withdrawn the same year.

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