As U.S. President Trump prepares to leave America’s longest war in Afghanistan, Russia confronts a new reality, one of a increased terror rising from Central Asia into the Russian Caucasus, which continue to be a hot bed of Islamic extremism.
The Kremlin seems now to be worried about a complete American exit from Central Asia.
“Initially, we backed US forces’ presence in Afghanistan and earlier voted in favor of a respective UN Security Council resolution. I still believe that US presence in Afghanistan does not run counter to our external interests,” Putin said in an interview with “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” program on Rossiya-1 TV channel, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“On the contrary, when it was announced that the Americans are preparing to withdraw their military contingent – yes, our official position is that maybe this creates additional conditions for a kind of Afghan reconciliation – but I personally think that this creates many risks.
“First, we will have to spend more to maintain stability and second, no matter what, still US presence in Afghanistan contributes to stability in the country and their exit creates risks…We don’t have to fight against the Americans’ presence there.
“We are cooperating with the US despite numerous contradictions on a lot of areas, still cooperation at the level of special services is underway,” he said. In particular, this is cooperation on de-conflicting in Syria and a very good working contact was established at the operational level and at the level of military units’ chiefs.
According to Putin, the Americans share data on anti-terror with their Russian colleagues. “We view the Americans’ effort in Afghanistan as an anti-terrorist effort,” Putin stressed.
“They hand over and repeatedly handed over [data] to us. I thanked incumbent President [Donald Trump] because information that we received from America helped us prevent several terrorist acts in Russia,” Putin noted. “In our turn, we are trying to do the same and we have such an agreement with the incumbent US president that if this information emerges, we will share it and help each other.”
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