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Putin urges U.S. to unfreeze Afghan assets, provide aid

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KABUL: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Afghanistan needs economic assistance and the US and NATO with their 20-year involvement in the country should provide aid to the war-ravaged country to prevent famine.

At his annual press conference, Putin said, “Now, it is necessary to provide assistance to the Afghan people. And this should be done, first of all, by those countries, which have caused such enormous damage to the Afghan economy and society. Those who have been there for 20 years, destroyed the economy, need to provide assistance first.”

Calling on the organisations to unfreeze Afghanistan’s monetary holdings, Putin said that Kabul’s holding in the foreign banks primarily in the US should be unfrozen in order to support the humanitarian assistance to Afghans.

He also warned that without the humanitarian assistance and unfreezing of assets, people in Afghanistan may face famine or severe consequences of that, which can spill over to the neighbouring countries.

“As for recognition, as a whole, we must proceed from the realities, proceed from the fact that, after all, the forces that ended up at the head of Afghanistan will intend to ensure that all ethnic groups are represented in the leadership of the country,” Sputnik quoted Putin as saying on Thursday during an annual end-of-year press conference.

He also said that this is the only thing in his opinion that can create conditions giving rise to hope for stabilization in Afghanistan.

Emphasizing that Russia works with all international partners to come up with a consolidated decision, Putin also said that Afghanistan requires assistance at this time.

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