Putin backs US forces’ presence in Afghanistan


KABUL: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he supports the US troop presence in Afghanistan for the sake of security in the region and had thus voted in favor of that matter at the Security Council.

“Initially, we backed US forces’ presence in Afghanistan and voted in favor of a respective UN Security Council resolution. I still believe that US presence in Afghanistan is not in conflict with our external interests,” Putin on Sunday said in an interview with Rossiya-1 TV, a Russian television channel.

Putin said that on the contrary, when it was announced that foreign forces were preparing to withdraw, the Russian official position was that it would pave way for peace in Afghanistan, “but I personally think that it would create more risks instead.”

Putin informed about the US and Russian collaboration, saying the US also shared counterterrorism information with Russia. “We dub US efforts in Afghanistan as acts against terrorism,” he concluded.