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Russian President Says NATO Should Stay In Afghanistan


Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says NATO troops should remain in Afghanistan until their task is accomplished.

Putin said it was "regrettable that countries who are participating in operations in Afghanistan, are thinking about how to pull out of there."

He suggested that NATO countries that "took up the burden should carry it to the end."

Putin made the remark on August 1 during a visit to the Russian town of Ulyanovsk.

NATO has requested permission to use facilities at an airport in Ulyanovsk, on the Volga River, for its mission in Afghanistan.

Putin has said it is in Russia's "national interest" to grant the request, because instability in Afghanistan could result in the spread of drugs and Islamic extremism.

Most NATO combat troops are expected to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax

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