MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Washington will not be able to shift responsibility for the crisis in Afghanistan to anyone else, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
"It is impossible to shift responsibility onto someone else here no matter how hard one tries. So I don’t think that this might be the goal," he said, when asked if a Wall Street Journal article about Russia allegedly objecting to the deployment of American forces to the region could be aimed at shifting responsibility for the situation in Afghanistan onto Russia.
According to Peskov, the issue of Afghanistan and the US troop withdrawal was indeed discussed at the most recent meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Joe Biden of the United States in Geneva on June 16. "It was before the situation in Afghanistan collapsed that the Afghan issue and the looming pullout of [US] troops from Afghanistan were discussed, but we don’t usually make details public," the Kremlin spokesman noted.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier, citing senior Russian and US officials, that Biden at the Geneva summit had voiced plans to deploy US forces to Central Asian countries after withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. According to the news outlet, the American authorities sought to set up drones and counterterrorism forces in the region but Moscow rejected the idea.