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Putin cites Western failure in Afghanistan to say democracy can't be imposed on countries

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he delivers a speech during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 3, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly criticized the West's two decades of war and occupation in Afghanistan under the pretext of promoting democracy in the country, stressing that democracy can't be imposed from the outside.

Putin made the remarks at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Friday, saying the purpose of the West's policy to impose its norms on other nations was to control those countries.

He said if people needed democracy, it would have to come to them naturally, and called on international organizations to guard order in the world.

"The United Nations Organization and its Security Council, including the permanent five members, should be responsible for order in the world," Putin said.

The Russian president said the Taliban's rapid sweep over Afghanistan had shown the futility of the West's attempts to enforce its own vision of democracy.

Putin further described the situation in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US-led forces from the country as a "catastrophe."

He said Russia was not interested in the disintegration of Afghanistan, arguing that if the country broke up, there would be no political force to talk to directly.

Putin further reiterated his concerns about radical movements that currently operated in Afghanistan, warning that they posed a threat to Russia and Central Asian nations.

The Taliban are designated a terrorist group by Russia.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said a day earlier that Moscow supported the formation of an inclusive coalition government in Afghanistan with the participation of all ethno-political forces of the country, including national minorities.

The Taliban, who have taken over Afghanistan, have said they will form a government "in a matter of a few days."

The Taliban captured the capital, Kabul, and ousted the government of the now-runaway president Ashraf Ghani on August 15. The militant group had intensified offensives as US-led foreign forces began what has been criticized as a hasty and ill-planned withdrawal.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

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