Putin expresses hope Afghanistan’s experience will make Washington refrain from ‘attempts to impose democracy forcibly’
MOSCOW (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called the situation in Afghanistan “a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Speaking at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s city of Vladivostok, Putin expressed hope that Afghanistan’s experience will make Washington refrain from attempts to “civilize” other nations.
“Indeed, this is a catastrophe, this is the truth. These are not my words, these are the words of American analysts themselves.
“If you look at the number of people who were abandoned in Afghanistan, who worked for the collective West, for the United States and its allies, then this is a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.
Putin went on saying the Western countries have been always trying to impose their way of life on others, first, through “propagating Christianity,” sending missioners to remote regions, now by “forcing countries to democracy.”
“Democracy, if some people need it, the people will come to it themselves. There is no need to do this by violent means,” he said.
He also opposed the US attempts to dominate globally, saying this role is reserved for the UN and its Security Council, and that these structures must be responsible for the world order.
Asked about the Taliban’s recognition, Putin said it is necessary to see what is behind their good intentions.
But he believes that the sooner the Taliban “enters the family of civilized nations”, the easier it will be to contact, communicate with the movement, to influence and account responsible for their actions.
Putin says absence of Russian-Japanese peace treaty ‘nonsense’
Putin regretted Russia and Japan have not been able to conclude a peace treaty since the end of World War II, called the situation “nonsense.”
“We consider the absence of such a document in our relations nonsense. Moreover, both Russia and Japan are interested in the full normalization of our relations. I am referring to our mutual strategic interest in developing cooperation,” he said.
The authorities of Russia and Japan have repeatedly agreed to work jointly on the territory of the disputed Kuril Islands, but the Japanese side has changed its position many times, he claimed.
At the same time, Russia maintains its concerns over the possible deployment of the US infrastructure on the islands in case of their transition under Japan’s sovereignty, he said.
“These questions have been put to the Japanese side, we have not yet received answers. Therefore, I believe that in this sense, the ball is on the side of our partners,” he said.
Putin said Russia continued developing the islands economically and the Russian government decided to free businesses of taxes on the Kuril Islands for 10 years and prepared some other measures to attract investments.
Russia and Japan have not resolved the territorial dispute over the islands since World War II.
At the 1945 Yalta Conference, the Soviet Union agreed to start military operations on the eastern front under an agreement with its western allies, and in exchange, received some Japanese territories, including the Kuril Islands.
After the war, however, Japan rejected the Soviet Union’s sovereignty over the islands.
Due to the dispute, Russia and Japan never signed a peace treaty and technically are still at war. As both sides claim the territories, the question of the Kurils’ sovereignty remains uncertain.
Tokyo regularly protests visits of Russian officials to the islands.
Russian authorities fear the possible deployment of US missile systems on the islands if they are returned to Japan, creating a direct military threat to Russia.