Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed the US and its allies for creating a "new crisis" in Afghanistan and told the BRICS leaders that they have to pay "special attention" to the situation in the war-ravaged country to prevent it from becoming a source of terrorism and drug trafficking.
Speaking at the 13th BRICS summit presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video link, Putin said, "Russia, just like its BRICS partners, consistently supports the establishment of the long-awaited peace and stability in Afghanistan.
"The US and its allies withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis and it is still unclear how this will affect regional and global security," Putin said, adding "that is why it is for good reason that our countries have paid special attention to this issue."
Afghanistan should not become a threat to its neighbours, a source of terrorism and drug trafficking, he emphasised at the summit of the five-member bloc.
He said Afghan citizens have fought for decades and deserve to exercise the rights of defining what their state will look like on their own.
Putin said Russia is interested in stopping the exodus of Afghans from the country after the Taliban takeover last month.
"I am confident that we can ensure progressive development of the international relations only through guaranteeing the co-existence of states with different political and social systems," he told the BRICS meeting which was also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.
"We must strictly observe the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN charter, including non-interference into the internal affairs and respect for sovereignty," he added.
The BRICS meeting comes two days after the Taliban on Tuesday unveiled a hardline interim government with at least 14 members of the Cabinet, including acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, being listed on the UN Security Council's terrorism blacklist.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August, ousting the previous elected leadership which was backed by the West.
US President Joe Biden has vigorously defended the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of conflict, describing it as the best and the right decision for America.
The Taliban, ousted from power by the US shortly after the 9/11 attacks, now control nearly all of the country.
India is this year's chair for the five-member bloc that holds the rotating Presidency. This was the second time Prime Minister Modi chaired the BRICS summit. Earlier, he had chaired the Goa summit in 2016.
The BRICS bloc brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.
Putin also said that Russia is ready to continue cooperation with its partners in the BRICS group in all fields, asserting that the strengthening of cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus is the goal that the entire international community is striving to achieve.
He said that the theme that India chose for the meeting and the entire year, that is, the strengthening of cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus, is quite relevant, Russia's official TASS news agency reported.
"In fact, this is the goal that the entire international community is facing and five BRICS members play a significant and notable role in achieving this goal," the Russian president said.
"I expect our work today to be substantive and fruitful and I would like to point out once again that Russia is ready to continue close cooperation with all BRICS members in all fields," Putin said.