Russia’s security chief has said that the United States turned Afghanistan into a global illicit drug laboratory in the past 20 years, and that Russia would set no preconditions for potential military presence in the war-ravaged country.
Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev made the remarks in an interview with the Izvestia daily on Wednesday, saying the production of opiates in Afghanistan had increased over 40-fold during the past two decades.
This is while the economic development of the crisis-hit country has been thrown back decades, he added.
“Instead of fighting drug trafficking, over the two decades of the military-political administration of Afghanistan, the United States has implemented a project to create a drug laboratory on a global scale there. The production of opiates has increased more than 40 times,” Patrushev said.
US-led NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 with the declared aim of fighting terrorism. The invasion put an end to the Taliban’s rule, which had begun in 1996.
In recent weeks, however, and as foreign forces abruptly withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban militants rapidly overran the country, facing little or no resistance from Afghan army troops. The Taliban ultimately recaptured Kabul on Sunday, shortly after president Ashraf Ghani fled the country to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he was granted asylum on “humanitarian” grounds.
The foreign military withdrawal put an end to two decades of war in the South Asian country.
“In reality, during the presence of American troops, the number of terrorist acts in Afghanistan has grown significantly,” Patrushev said.
According to Russia’s security chief, the West was never able to train the army, police, and security services of Afghanistan.