Putin on Afghanistan 'Catastrophe': Democracy Can't be Imposed by Force

© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin during Eastern Economic Forum
Russian President Vladimir Putin during Eastern Economic Forum - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.09.2021
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The United States has completed its 20-year-long military campaign in Afghanistan this week, which resulted in over 46,000 civilian deaths from all sides and the Taliban's* eventual takeover of power on 15 August.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the situation in Afghanistan that followed the Western troop withdrawal a "catastrophe", saying on Friday that democracy couldn't be imposed by force. 
Speaking at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, Putin said that if people needed democracy it will come to them naturally. 
The Russian president added that the United Nations and the body's Security Council should be responsible for guarding the global order:
"The United Nations Organisation and its Security Council, including the permanent five members, should be responsible for order in the world," Putin said. 
However, the president suggested that the policy of countries imposing standards from outside still continues elsewhere in the world.
Putin, who previously said that America's 20-year-long presence in Afghanistan only led to "tragedies", argued that Russia was not interested in the disintegration of the Southern Asian country, as there will be no one for Moscow to talk to. He added that many radical movements that currently operate in Afghanistan pose a threat to Russia's neighbours and allies.  
"The Taliban movement is not homogeneous, although it mostly consists of Pashtun tribes ... Representatives of many other organizations, including radical ones such as the Islamic State [banned as a terrorist organization in Russia], are present in Afghanistan. Many people, including radicals, were released from prisons," the president said during the forum.
"The sooner the Taliban join the so-called family of civilized peoples, the easier it will be to communicate, have influence and ask question," he added.
© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, 3 August 2021.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, 3 August 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, 3 August 2021.
Putin called on world powers to "join efforts" in making decisions regarding the legalisation of political forces in Afghanistan, as he was asked whether Russia would recognise the Taliban, which is currently considered a terrorist organisation in Russia.
The Russian president is currently in Vladivostok, attending an annual international forum which this year is set to present "new opportunities of a Far East in a changing world".

Question of Recognition

Following the Taliban's capture of power in Afghanistan on 15 August, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  signalled that Moscow was in no rush to recognise the terrorist group as a legitimate authority in the country. He called for an inclusive government in Afghanistan that would see different political forces. His comments have recently been corroborated by the ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
"We support the formation of an inclusive coalition government in Afghanistan with the participation of all ethnopolitical forces of the country, including national minorities. Therefore, the issue of official recognition of the new authorities will become relevant after the completion of this process," the spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The Afghanistan's new government, soon to be announced, is expected to be led by the Taliban's co-founder Mullah Baradar and comprise no female ministers, according to the sources in the Islamist group and its spokespeople. 
The Taliban took power in Afghanistan on 15 August after entering the capital, Kabul, and declared the next day that the war in the country was over. On Monday, the US completed its long-criticised withdrawal of troops and American citizens from the country, while handing over the Kabul airport, where the evacuation operations have been conducted, to the Taliban. 
*Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia.
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