Russia would not interfere in Afghanistan-Putin


President Vladimir Putin says Russia would not interfere in Afghanistan and that Moscow had learned from the Soviet occupation of the country, a week after the Taliban swept back into power.

Moscow invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to support an Afghan communist government in conflict with Muslim guerrilla fighters.

The decade-long war there left up to two million Afghans dead, forced seven million more from their homes and led to the deaths of more than 14,000 Soviet troops.

Putin’s comments came after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said US forces were “pawning off” Afghans fleeing the Taliban to neighboring Moscow-allied Central Asia.

On a visit to Hungary, Lavrov said the United States was trying to convince several Central Asian countries to take in Afghans who previously worked with US forces in the now Taliban-controlled country.

He alleged that Washington tells the countries the Afghans will only be there temporarily.