Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he was concerned that Afghan “militants” posing as refugees might try to make their way into Russia from the Central Asian countries where they’re currently being housed.
Putin said he did not want Afghan “militants appearing (in Russia) again under the guise of refugees,” reported Reuters. Putin took aim at the United States for asking Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to temporarily house up to 9,000 Afghans fleeing Kabul, especially because Russia has no visa restrictions with some of these countries.
“Does that mean that they can be sent without visas to those countries, to our neighbors, while they themselves don’t want to take them without visas?” Putin raged to the Russian TASS news agency. “Why is there such a humiliating approach to solving the problem?’
The US has negotiated with various countries to at least temporarily accept Afghans who are fleeing their country after its swift takeover by the Taliban. The Taliban took control of the country after President Biden ordered the withdrawal of US forces following a 20-year presence. Russian officials have not joined in the effort to evacuate thousands of desperate Afghans at Kabul airport seeking to flee the country.
Rather, the Kremlin has praised the Taliban for “restoring order” to Afghanistan. “We are seeing the statements the Talibs made about ceasing combat actions, an amnesty for all of those involved in the confrontation, about a need for a nationwide dialogue,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “They are being implemented.”