The US’ attempts to impose its “own norms and standards” in Afghanistan ended in “only tragedies, only losses,” Russia’s president said on Wednesday.
At a meeting with schoolchildren in Russia’s eastern city of Vladivostok, Vladimir Putin said Washington tried to “civilize people” during its 20-year campaign in Afghanistan but the “result is zero.”
“For 20 years, American troops were present on this territory and for 20 years they tried to civilize people, meaning to introduce their own norms and standards of life in the broadest sense, including in the political structure of society,” he said.
“The result is only tragedies, only losses, both for those who did it and even more so for those people who live in Afghanistan. The result is zero, if not negative.”
Separately, Russia’s foreign minister said Moscow’s priority after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan is to ensure the security of its allies in Central Asia.
“Firstly, they are our comrades in arms, and secondly, the security of the southern borders of the Russian Federation directly depends on this,” Sergey Lavrov said in an address at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
He said Russia will continue working with international partners for steps to ensure “a truly national leadership” in Afghanistan, where the Taliban swept to power on Aug. 15, forcing the president and other top officials to flee the country.
On Russia-US relations, Lavrov said there was some progress after Joe Biden and Putin met in Geneva this June, which was followed by more lower-level contacts.
The developments make both sides feel slightly more hopeful about their capability to agree on some issues and slightly reduce tensions, he added.
“But this does not negate the fact that the US continues to view containing Russia and China as one of its main tasks in the international arena,” Lavrov said.