Putin rejected role of US forces near Afghanistan during summit with Biden – .

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Putin rejected role of US forces near Afghanistan during summit with Biden – .


Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a June 16 summit meeting with President Biden, opposed any role for US forces in Central Asian countries, senior US and Russian officials said, undermining US plans to act against new terrorist dangers following its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The previously unreported exchange between U.S. and Russian leaders has complicated the Biden administration’s hopes of basing drones and other counterterrorism forces in countries bordering landlocked Afghanistan. This challenge was compounded with the collapse over the weekend of the Afghan government and armed forces.
The exchange also indicates that Moscow is more determined to try to maintain Central Asia as a sphere of influence than to expand cooperation with a new US president on the unrest in Afghanistan, former and current US officials said.
“The Russians have no interest in the United States coming back there,” said Paul Goble, a former State Department expert on Eurasia.
The US needs for what the Pentagon calls an “over the horizon” counterterrorism capability in Afghanistan has grown dramatically in recent days with the Taliban takeover.

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