Putin says West should provide aid to Afghanistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin in his annual press conference on Thursday said that Afghanistan needs economic assistance, which, first of all, should be provided by the US and NATO that have been in this country for the past two decades, Tass news reported.

“Now, it is necessary to provide assistance to the Afghan people. And this should be done, first of all, by those countries, which have caused such enormous damage to the Afghan economy and society. Those who have been there for 20 years, destroyed the economy, need to provide assistance first,” Putin said quoted by Tass.

Putin said that Russia will do everything for Afghanistan that “depends on us.”

Putin stated: “First of all, Afghanistan’s funds need to be unfrozen by foreign banks, primarily US ones, in order to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people to the full extent, otherwise [the country] is likely to face famine and other severe consequences which will affect the neighboring states.”

His comments comes a day after the UN Security Council adopted the resolution authorizing the allocation of money from frozen financial assets to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. All 15 Security Council members upheld this document. This refers to the funds belonging to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) as well as to the IEA representatives. The resolution remains valid for one year, while in December 2022, the UN Security Council will consider its possible extension.

The United States formally exempted on Wednesday U.S. and U.N. officials doing permitted business with the IEA from U.S. sanctions to try to maintain the flow of aid to Afghanistan as it sinks deeper into a humanitarian crisis, Reuters reported.

The Treasury on Wednesday issued three general licenses aimed at easing humanitarian aid flows into Afghanistan.

According to Reuters, two of the licenses allow U.S. officials and those of certain international organizations, such as the United Nations, to engage in transactions involving the IEA or Haqqani Network for official business.

A third license gives non-governmental organizations (NGOs) protection from U.S. sanctions on the IEA and the Haqqani Network for work on certain activities, including humanitarian projects.