Putin backs US presence in Afghanistan

ANI | Updated: Dec 26, 2017 12:37 IST

Moscow [Russia], Dec 26 (ANI): Expressing concern over deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed the presence of the United States military in the war-torn country.

"Indeed, it [the situation with terrorist threat in Afghanistan] has worsened; it is true, it keeps deteriorating," Russian news agency TASS quoted Putin, as saying, during a meeting with the parliamentary leadership.

"But if the US were not there, it would probably be worse," the president said.

Looking past the "complex relationship" of Russia and the US, Putin urged to "approach the subject objectively."

Both Russia and the United States share a strained bilateral relationship. Additionally, the former has been accused by the latter of meddling in its 2016 presidential polls.

On December 24, the United States announced it would provide lethal weapons to Ukraine to help it fight Russian-backed separatists. The weapons include American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles.

This move did not go very well with Russia and the officials reportedly have said that the US decision to supply weapons to Ukraine will fuel conflict in the east of the country. Russia's deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, told the Russian state media that the US decision "raises the danger of derailing the process of peaceful settlement in Ukraine".(ANI)

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