Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that seasoned terrorists from Iraq and Syria were “actively” entering Afghanistan.
“The situation in Afghanistan is not easy,” Putin said during a video conference with the heads of the security services of the former Soviet states.
“Militants from Iraq and Syria with experience in military operations are actively attracted to it,” he said.
“It is possible that terrorists are trying to destabilize the situation in neighboring states,” he added, warning that they could even attempt “direct expansion”.
Putin has repeatedly warned against members of extremist groups exploiting political unrest in Afghanistan to enter countries neighboring the former Soviet Union as refugees.
Following the Taliban takeover, Russia organized military exercises with the former Soviet Tajikistan – where it operates a military base – and in Uzbekistan. The two countries share a border with Afghanistan.
Tajikistan’s national security chief Saimumin Yatimov, for his part, said during the videoconference that he had recorded an “intensification” of attempts to “smuggle drugs, weapons, ammunition” from Afghanistan to his country. country.
Earlier on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron received Tajikistan’s leader Emomali Rakhmon in Paris, pledging to help the Central Asian state maintain stability.
While the Taliban have said they pose no threat to Central Asian countries, the region’s former Soviet republics have already been the target of attacks attributed to allies of the Afghan Islamists.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)