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Putin censures US legacy of ‘complete economic, social devastation’ in Afghanistan

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 delivers a state-of-the-nation address in Moscow on February 20, 2019. (File photo by AFP)

The US-led coalition’s 20-year presence in Afghanistan brought nothing but economic and social devastation to the war-torn country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

Speaking at a joint meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday, Putin stressed that “the weapons are perhaps the only thing that the Taliban received after the West’s twenty-year military presence in Afghanistan. In fact, there is nothing good about this. Otherwise, the country found itself in a state of complete economic and social devastation.”

Earlier this month, the Russian leader had criticized the Western presence in Afghanistan, saying that the 20-year occupation had resulted in “sheer tragedies and losses” for the United States and the Afghan people alike.

He noted at the time that the American presence in the region was “to impose their norms and standards of life in the broadest sense of this word, including the political organization of society.”

“This is a zero result, if not negative.”

Moscow has been critical of the US policy in Afghanistan, where Washington’s military engagement cost over $80 billion, and hundreds of thousands of lives.

However, as the US and its allies withdrew troops from the war-torn country, the Taliban quickly regained footing in the country and ousted the government of the now runaway President Ashraf Ghani in mid-August.

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