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Russia worried over growing terrorist threat in northern Afghanistan — Putin

Vladimir Putin believes Afghanistan’s central government needs the international community’s support

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russia is concerned over the strengthening of terrorist groupings in north Afghanistan at the borders with former Soviet republics, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual news conference on Thursday.

"We see the growing threat in Afghanistan from international terrorists. We see that radical international formations are occupying more and more areas in north Afghanistan at the border with former republics of the Soviet Union," the head of the Russian state said.

"This relates to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. No doubt, this causes our big concern, especially considering the presence of the Russian 201st military base in Tajikistan and the airbase in Kyrgyzstan, Putin said.

As the Russian president said, Afghanistan’s central government needs the international community’s support.

"As in the previous years, we are ready to provide this support, including in the training of national law-enforcement personnel and the armed forces, supplying necessary armament systems and military hardware," he added.

Without economic support, Afghanistan won’t be able to solve all its problems, including the problem of drug trafficking, the Russian president said.

"Unfortunately, the largest amount of drugs is produced in Afghanistan and a part of them is trafficked into the Russian market and this cannot but concern us," Putin stressed.

"We are ready to work together with the Afghan government, with the United States and other governments concerned to overcome these difficulties," the Russian leader said.

In Putin’s opinion, "we will be able to make our efforts more effective only by achieving joint work.".