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Putin: Russia Hopes Never to Use Forces in Tajikistan Over Afghanistan Crisis

Russian Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin gestures while speaks at the State Duma, Russian Parliament's lower house, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 11, 2012.  Russia's president-elect Vladimir Putin says he would support a motion that barrs a person from being elected to the presidency more than twice. Putin said in Parliament on Thursday that it would be reasonable to remove the mention of consecutive terms. He said this would not affect him because such a legislation cannot be retroactive.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Russia hopes never to deploy its Armed Forces and units in Tajikistan toward settlement efforts in neighboring Afghanistan, President Vladimir Putin said.

“We very much count on the fact that we will never have to use our armed forces, including our units of the 201st base in Tajikistan,” Putin told the Mir broadcaster in an interview published Wednesday.

He noted the importance of adhering to the three principles of recognizing the Afghan constitution, disarmament and reaching full national accord in defending Moscow’s engagement with “any forces in Afghanistan,” including the Taliban movement (banned in Russia).

“We proceed from the fact that by helping the legitimate government of Afghanistan together with other participants of this settlement process, we will ultimately achieve reconciliation and lead Afghanistan toward a path of peaceful solution to all internal issues,” Putin said.

Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency. The instability has persisted in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The lack of control and instability turned the country into home to the largest opium poppy production and distribution network in the world.

By SPUTNIK

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