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12 Oct, 2021 10:44

US & NATO deliberately trying to ‘heat up’ crisis in Afghanistan after chaotic exit sparked sharp rise in refugees, Russia claims

US & NATO deliberately trying to ‘heat up’ crisis in Afghanistan after chaotic exit sparked sharp rise in refugees, Russia claims

After beating a ‘hasty’ retreat following two decades of military operations, Western nations have handed over their weapons to the Taliban and are now working to escalate tensions yet further, Russia’s Foreign Minister has said.

Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting of foreign ministers, including representatives from Iran, Iraq and China, Sergey Lavrov said that there were serious challenges to keeping peace in Central Asia. “Unfortunately, the geopolitical orientation of the region isn’t getting any easier,” he set out. “We are seeing deliberate attempts to heat up the situation and undermine existing multilateral co-operation.”

According to him, the US-led NATO bloc has refused to take ownership of its failures in the region, and is now set to worsen the refugee crisis by redeploying its troops across Asia. “The international community, especially Afghanistan’s neighbors, need to step up and deal with the problem,” he added.

Also on rt.com Putin warns terrorists & Taliban fighters ‘disguised as refugees’ could be flowing out of Afghanistan amid chaos of US withdrawal

At the same, Lavrov went on, “the hasty withdrawal of NATO members has further entangled the knot of contradictions in Afghanistan. There are many weapons and large quantities of military equipment left in the country. It’s important these aren’t put to use to create destruction.”

Russia is set to host a meeting with representatives of the Taliban, and has also invited diplomats from Beijing, next week. While the Islamist militant group is listed as a terrorist organization in Russia and banned, its political envoys have been given dispensation to fly in for talks in an effort to calm the troubled region.

Also on rt.com Russia invites China for crunch talks with Taliban on Afghanistan’s future after American troop withdrawal from war-torn state

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously warned that the withdrawal of US-led forces and the collapse of the American-backed government earlier this year risks creating a refugee crisis that will spill over into nearby nations.

“Who are these refugees? How can we tell? There may be thousands, or even millions,” Putin said. “The border is a thousand kilometers – they will get on everything, a car, even a donkey, and flee across the steppe.” He added that “we do not want fighters disguised as refugees to turn up in our country.”

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