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Lavrov Says Russia Doesn't Want To See U.S. Troops In Central Asia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends a joint press conference with his Hungarian counterpart in Budapest on August 24.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow does not want to see U.S. troops in Central Asia because it would make the region a target for attacks.

Speaking to reporters after holding talks with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, in Budapest on August 24, Lavrov said that Russia had a "common security space" with its former Central Asian republics through its common security space.

He added that Washington's proposal to allow refugees from Afghanistan to resettle in the region would undermine stability.

Allowing U.S. troops to have a presence in Central Asian states would "immediately turn themselves into targets," he said.

Lavrov stressed that his country is ready, along with China, the United States, and Pakistan, to take part in resolving the current crisis in Afghanistan, sparked earlier this month by the Taliban's takeover of Kabul and almost all of the rest of the country.

He added that the situation in Afghanistan will be the main issue in the agenda of the sessions of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which will be held in Dushanbe in mid-September.

The SCO includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan. Afghanistan joined the grouping as an observer in 2012.

With reporting by Reuters and TASS
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