Moscow, Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual news conference held here on Thursday expressed concerns over building up of terrorist groupings on Afghan-Central Asian borders.
“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. 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,” said President Putin.
President Putin said that Afghanistan wanted international support to run its government and Russia had been supporting Afghanistan whenever the demand came from Afghanistan.
When asked about defence budget of Russia, Putin said that security can (could) not be compromised but defence budget must not responsible for economic collapse. “We take this approach”, added Putin.
He maintained that United States has signed into law a military spending bill for $700 billion while Russia is spending only $46 billion.
“Can our country afford that kind of spending? No, it cannot. But the $46 plus is enough for us. You could say that even this amount is too much”, commented Putin.
“I am sure you know this popular adage: those who do not want to feed their own army will feed someone else’s”, maintained Putin.