MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – There is no need to rush with the official recognition of the Taliban, who recently took power in Afghanistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he spoke at a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State on 15 October, BelTA has learned.
The Russian leader shared the concern of his colleagues over the situation in Afghanistan, which carries risks not only for Central Asia but also for the entire CIS. "The situation requires more joint efforts, primarily to counter terrorism and drug trafficking. Concentration of extremist and terrorist groups near the borders of the CIS is clearly visible," Vladimir Putin stated.
According to him, there are about 2,000 IS members in the north of Afghanistan and their leaders are hatching plans to spread influence onto the Central Asian states and even Russian regions, to incite ethno-confessional conflicts and religious hatred. "Terrorists seek to penetrate the territory of the CIS, including under the guise of refugees," the Russian leader noted.
According to Vladimir Putin, the transitional government formed by the Taliban does not reflect all sections of Afghan society. At the same time, they announced the intention to hold general elections and are taking measures to resume normal work of the state governing bodies. “We in the CIS will certainly keep track of progress in the implementation of these promises. I concur with my counterparts, including the president of Kazakhstan, who said that there is no need to rush with the official recognition of the Taliban. We understand that we have to interact with them. We should not haste, however. We will discuss everything together and consult with you,” the Russian president said.
Vladimir Putin believes that it is necessary to support the process of inter-Afghan reconciliation and do the utmost for the situation in the country to get back to normal.
The Russian leader also highlighted the problem of drug trafficking from Afghanistan, which remains the world's largest supplier of opiates. “Despite the promise to fight drug production, I am not sure that the Taliban will succeed, whether they want to do it or not. When they were in power before, they did it successfully. But today it will not be easy for them to give up on such a source of income. Especially given the difficult economic situation in the country,” he said.