Putin Warned Biden Against Deploying Military Bases in Central Asia, Lavrov Says

© AP Photo / Rahmat GulБаза Баграм в Афганистане
База Баграм в Афганистане  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.11.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) -Russian President Vladimir Putin warned US President Joe Biden at their summit in Geneva in June against attempts to deploy military bases in Central Asia in light of developments in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"We foresaw what would happen. The president told Biden when they met in Geneva in June: 'We firmly oppose ... your attempt to agree with the Central Asian countries on the deployment of military infrastructure on their territory in order to deliver the so-called over-the-horizon strikes on the territory of Afghanistan if necessary'," Lavrov told Russia-24 TV channel.
The United States made similar offers not only to Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbours, the Russian top diplomat added.
"It made such appeals to the Pakistanis as well, and they refused. Uzbekistan publicly stated that its constitution does not provide for deployment of military bases on its territory, and Kyrgyzstan publicly announced through the president that they do not want this," Lavrov added.
According to Lavrov, Western countries have also been putting pressure on Afghanistan's neighbours to accept Afghan refugees, but the Central Asian countries are ready to set up refugee centres only with guarantees that they will be taken away later.
"Refugees are the second aspect that is being considered more seriously now. Firstly, many of them just rushed into Central Asia themselves, different nations treat them differently, as they keep trying to protect their countries from this flow in every possible way. But, for example, in Uzbekistan, special facilities were allocated [to refugees] right next to the airport, from where they are sent to other states and not allowed to cross into other parts of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In my opinion, our Tajik neighbours are following the same path," Lavrov told Russia-24 TV channel.

"They are under pressure to accept refugees. They want to form reception centres with clear guarantees that these refugees will be taken away after some time," Lavrov added.
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