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PM Modi holds brainstorming session with Russian President Vladmir Putin over Afghanistan

PM Modi holds brainstorming session with Russian President Vladmir Putin over Afghanistan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Russian President Vladmir Putin on Tuesday and held a detailed discussion on the situation in Afghanistan.

PM Modi tweeted: “Had a detailed and useful exchange of views with my friend President Putin on recent developments in Afghanistan.”

“We also discussed issues on the bilateral agenda, including India-Russia cooperation against COVID-19. We agreed to continue close consultations on important issues,” the Prime Minister added.

The conversation lasted for 45 minutes. The discussion also comes at a time when Russia is expected to play a key role in stabilising the region after the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and lightning takeover of the country by the Taliban.

Also read:  India, Iran and Russia go into a huddle to tackle return of the Taliban in Afghanistan

PM Modi had also spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday about the unfolding security situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the region and the world.

While Russia is amongst the few countries that did not shut down its embassy in Kabul it has made it clear that it would not take a decision to recognise the Taliban in a hurry.  It has also said it will not go by the rhetoric of the Taliban but their deeds in forming a judgment. 

Russia is expected to play a key role in restoring stability in the region and even Britain has emphasized this aspect. 

Putin had said on Sunday that the conflict in Afghanistan directly affects the security situation in Russia. He made it clear that Russia does not want Afghanistan militants arriving in Central Asia under cover of refugees.

He criticised the plan of some Western countries to send refugees from Afghanistan to neighbouring Central Asian countries while their visas to the United States and Europe are being processed, according to reports by Russian news agencies.  

It is Russia’s concern over the potential of Islamic militancy spilling into its backyard that has prompted it to carry out military exercises with Central Asian countries like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan recently when the Taliban forces were advancing into the northern areas of Afghanistan.  Russia also has military bases in the region.

Putin’s statement comes at a time when Britain has said it would have to turn to Russia and China to exercise a "moderating influence" over the Taliban, despite a souring of relations with them in recent times.

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper cited UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as saying: "We're going to have to bring in countries with a potentially moderating influence like Russia and China, however uncomfortable that is."

Diplomatic relations between UK and Russia have turned sour since the 2018 poisoning with a Soviet-developed nerve agent of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal, who betrayed hundreds of Russian agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service. The ties worsened after a BBC journalist working in Moscow was told to leave the country recently.

Britain and China also have serious difference over issues such as civil rights in Hong Kong and alleged human rights abuses against China's Uyghur Muslim minority group in Xinjiang province.