SOCHI, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – The United States contributes to the spread of terrorism by funding militants and bolstering division, rather than promoting unity, among world nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
"In Syria, just like in old times, the US and its allies began to provide militants with direct funding and weapons to incite filling of their ranks by mercenaries from different countries," Putin said at the plenary session of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.
The Russian president noted that this is one of the reasons why the Islamic State (IS) militant group, currently active in Iraq and Syria, has turned into a "de facto army group".
"They [IS] are active in a highly effective manner, from the military perspective, they are real professionals," Putin said, adding that another reason why IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is so powerful is because the US-led international coalition formed to eradicate the militants, is bolstering division among regional powers.
According to Putin, attempts on the part of the United States to "draw division lines and forge a coalition 'against', rather than 'for', something [are meant] to create an enemy image, as it was the case during the Cold War, and get a right to dictate".
The Russian president stressed that such "unilateral dictatorship" does not help in fighting terrorism, instead creating "growing chaos" in stable states, such as Libya, which was "put on the brink of collapse" by the West and has turned into "a training ground for terrorists".
"Only the will and wisdom of Egypt's current leadership allowed to prevent the spread of chaos and rampant extremists in the Arab state," Putin said.
According to the Russian president, instead of spreading democracy, the United States provides support for Islamic extremists. Putin noted that over time, the funding sources for terrorists have expanded.
"Regarding the funding sources [for terrorism], today they are not limited to the profits from drug sales, the production of which, during the deployment of international forces in Afghanistan increased by dozens of times. But also to the oil sale profits," Putin said.
"The extraction [of oil] is conducted on territories which had fallen under the terrorists" control. They sell it at knock-down prices. And some are buying this oil and reselling it, profiting from this, without thinking that by doing so they are funding the terrorists who will someday come and sow death to their countries," the Russian president stressed.
According to Putin, Russia's "Western partners make the same mistake over and over again" by funding militants and thus inciting terrorism in the Middle East.
"They once sponsored Islamist extremists that had fought in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. Taliban and al-Qaeda originated from these [extremist] movements," the Russian president said.