Conflicts & War

Putin expresses concern over Afghanistan in BRICS summit

New Delhi, Sep 9 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday urged the leaders of the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to pay special attention to the “new crisis” in Afghanistan after the country’s takeover by the Taliban, as it could prove a regional and global security threat.

“The United States’ and its allies’ withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis and it is still unclear how it will affect global and regional security. That’s why, it is a good reason that our countries pay special attention to this issue,” Putin said in the inaugural speech of the 13th BRICS summit.

The meeting, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, China’s Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, apart from Putin.

The summit has generated a significant buzz as it comes just after the crisis in Afghanistan, a country where China, Russia and India have major geostrategic interests.

Putin was the only leader to explicitly mention Afghanistan in his speech, and warned that the security situation in the world had worsened.

“Outstanding regional conflicts haven’t stopped, in fact they have erupted again and are becoming more violent,” he said.

The Russian president said that Afghanistan should “cease to be a threat to its neighbors,” so that the territory “is not used for drug trafficking and terrorism,” an issue which affect all BRICS members.

Modi said that BRICS leaders would discuss “important global and regional issues” behind closed doors, without directly referring to Afghanistan.

The agenda of the 13th BRICS summit includes reforms in the multilateral system, the fight against terrorism and the use of digital tools and technologies to achieve the sustainable development goals, apart from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s BRICS summit coincides with the 15th anniversary of the group’s establishment, which initially consisted of Brazil, Russia, India and China, with South Africa joining in 2011.

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