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Putin Rebuffed U.S. Plans for Bases Near Afghanistan at Summit With Biden

putin-rebuffed-us.-plans-for-bases-near-afghanistan-at-summit-with-biden

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a June 16 summit meeting with President Biden, objected to any role for American forces in Central Asian countries, senior U.S. and Russian officials said, undercutting U.S. plans to act against new terrorist dangers after its Afghanistan withdrawal.

The previously unreported exchange between the U.S. and Russian leaders complicated Biden administration hopes of basing drones and other counter-terrorism forces in countries bordering land-locked Afghanistan. That challenge has deepened 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 American president over the turmoil in Afghanistan, former and current U.S. officials said.

“The Russians have no interest in having the U.S. back in there,” said Paul Goble, a former State Department expert on Eurasia.

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