Putin warns against ‘radical Islam’ spillover from Afghanistan
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Central Asian leaders that it is vital to avoid any spillover of “radical Islam” into the region from Afghanistan, according to the Kremlin.
Addressing an online summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Monday, Putin said it was important to keep “Islamist extremists” at bay following the Taliban’s takeover of power.
The CSTO’s emergency talks on Afghanistan were chaired by Emomali Rahmon, Tajikistan’s president, and attended by the leaders of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – all former Soviet republics.
The military alliance voiced concerns that ISIL (ISIS) still had a foothold in Afghanistan and remained a threat to the wider region, the Kremlin said.
It added that the six leaders had agreed to coordinate action on the unfolding situation in the country, including in response to any emerging threats
Putin had earlier raised his concerns regarding the situation in Afghanistan, warning last week that a “collapse” in the security situation could see “terrorists” entering neighbouring states “under the guise of refugees”.
“Our Western partners are persistently raising the question of placing refugees in Central Asian countries before obtaining visas to the United States or other countries,” he told a meeting of officials of Russia’s ruling United Russia party on Sunday.
“But who is among these refugees? How can we know?”