President Vladimir Putin on Sunday rejected the idea of sending refugees from Afghanistan to countries near Russia, saying he did not want “soldiers to appear here under the protection of refugees”. Russian news agency reported.
Putin criticized the idea of some Western countries transferring refugees from Afghanistan to neighboring Central Asian countries while their visas to the US and Europe are being processed.
“Does that mean they can be sent without a visa to those countries, to our neighbors, while they themselves (the West) don’t want to take them without a visa? ” TASS news agency quoted Putin as speaking to leaders of the ruling United Russia party.
“Why take such an embarrassing problem-solving approach?” he says.
The United States is holding secret talks with several countries in a desperate attempt to secure a temporary shelter deal for at-risk Afghans working for the US government, Reuters reported last week.
Mr. Putin said Russia, which allows citizens of the former Soviet Union countries in Central Asia to travel visa-free, was against it.
“We do not want fighters to appear here under the protection of refugees,” Putin quoted TASS as saying.
While some Western countries rushed to evacuate people from Afghanistan, Moscow praised the Taliban for restoring order after taking over the country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Taliban leaders have so far kept their promises.
“We see statements by the Taliban about a cessation of fighting, amnesty to all those involved in the confrontation, about the need for national dialogue… they are being worked out,” he was quoted as saying by RIA. .
Foreign Minister Lavrov said the Taliban had begun contacting former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from the syndication feed).