17 Sep 2021 17:20

West should become chief donor of Afghanistan's recovery - Putin

MOSCOW. Sept 17 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it's necessary to work with the United States on the phased unfreezing of Afghanistan's financial reserves; he also believes that the U.S. and NATO should become the main donors of infrastructure recovery projects in Afghanistan.

"I believe it is necessary to work with the United States and other Western nations on the phased unfreezing of Afghanistan's assets and recovery programs within the World Bank and IMF framework. We believe that the United States, NATO countries that are directly responsible for the hard consequences of their many-year presence in the country, should bear most of the expenses associated with the post-conflict rehabilitation of Afghanistan," Putin said at a joint meeting of the heads of state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

He described the situation in Afghanistan as "obviously very grave."

"All assets in foreign banks have been frozen. According to the UN, half of Afghans need humanitarian assistance just to survive. A third of them have no access to food. There is a risk that the absence of money in the Afghan budget may prompt people, who are currently in control of the country, to make money on drugs and arms trade," Putin said.