President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said India and Russia were both interested in deepening “constructive multilateral cooperation” to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan where decisive action was needed to defeat terrorism.
In an interview with IANS and Sputnik news agencies, Putin said Afghanistan was of concern as the “situation on the territory between India and Russia remains tense”.
“The developments in Afghanistan still raise concern. Decisive actions are required to help that country in dealing with such challenges and threats as terrorism, extremism, and illicit drug trafficking,” Putin said.
“Russia and India share the need to support national reconciliation efforts under international law and are interested in deepening constructive multilateral cooperation for the purposes of assisting Afghanistan in solving the issues of national security, building counter-narcotics capacity, ensuring social and economic development, and enhancing interconnectivity,” Putin said.
He said his country was willing to develop such formats of interaction that would “allow responding swiftly to emerging security challenges, jointly seeking for ways to address potential threats”.
He said the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) had “the major role in it” as the Eurasian political, economic and security bloc was constantly expanding its geography with India and Pakistan joining the grouping this year.
“The SCO is stepping up its efforts aimed at building trust, strengthening genuinely collective efforts in the area of crisis response, and developing multifaceted cooperation.”
He said Russia was actively promoting such projects to create a common economic space in Eurasia and resolve differences.
“Such Â‘integration of integrations’ based on the principles of transparency and taking into account the interests of all national economies will allow integrating the region into common development and will strengthen its stability.”