Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya. (Photo credit: Sputnik/Grigoriy Sisoev)
On 31 August, the European Union Council released a statement saying it will “strengthen the support” to countries in West Asia that accept Afghan refugees, in an attempt to stop a renewed wave of refugees seeking asylum in Europe.
“Based on lessons learned, the EU and its Member States stand determined to act jointly to prevent the recurrence of uncontrolled, large-scale illegal migration movements faced in the past … The EU should also strengthen the support to the countries in Afghanistan’s immediate neighborhood to ensure that those in need receive adequate protection primarily in the region,” the document says.
The statement also claims the EU will increase financial support to international organizations in order to provide financial support to the countries welcoming Afghan refugees.
This announcement comes a day after Russia abstained from voting on a draft UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Afghanistan, claiming the authors of the draft ignored their “principled concerns” over the freezing of Afghanistan’s financial assets as well as the ongoing brain drain of the country.
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the UNSC, explained in a statement that “during the negotiations, we emphasized the unacceptability and negative impacts of the evacuation of highly qualified Afghan personnel on Afghanistan’s socio-economic situation.” He later added that “the authors ignored our proposal to have the document state the adverse effects that the freezing of Afghan financial assets have on the economic and humanitarian situation in the country.”
The conflicting strategies by Western powers comes as the Taliban say they will soon announce the formation of an “inclusive” government to lead the war-torn nation out of crisis.
Following their defeat after 20 years of war, the US has frozen all Afghanistan’s financial assets held within their borders and pushed the International Monetary Fund into blocking the Taliban from accessing emergency COVID-19 relief funds.