MOSCOW (Dispatches) --
Putin criticized an idea of some Western countries to relocate refugees from Afghanistan to neighboring Central Asian countries while their visas to the United States and Europe are being processed.
“Does that mean that they can be sent without visas to those countries, to our neighbors, while they themselves (the West) don’t want to take them without visas?” TASS news agency quoted Putin as telling leaders of the ruling United Russia party.
“Why is there such a humiliating approach to solving the problem?” he said.
The United States held secret talks with a number of countries in a desperate attempt to secure deals to temporarily house at-risk Afghans who worked for the U.S. government, Reuters reported last week.
Putin said Russia, which allows visa-free travel for residents of ex-Soviet Central Asian countries, opposes that.
“We don’t want militants showing up here under cover of refugees,” TASS cited Putin as saying.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez agreed two military bases in southern Spain can be used to receive Afghans who have worked for the U.S. government, the Spanish government said on Sunday.
In a 25-minute telephone conversation on Saturday night, Biden and Sanchez agreed Moron de la Frontera near Seville and Rota near Cadiz can be used for refugees from Afghanistan until their travel to other countries is arranged.
“Pedro Sanchez and Joe Biden agreed the use of the bases of Moron and Rota to host Afghans who worked with the U.S. while in transit to other countries,” the Spanish government said in a statement on Sunday.
Sanchez tweeted on Saturday: “I have just had a meaningful conversation with President Joe Biden in which we have addressed several topics of common interest, particularly the situation inn Afghanistan and the collaboration between our governments in the evacuation of citizens from that country.”
A plane carrying 110 Afghan refugees and their families arrived at a Spain-based European Union hub at a military base outside Madrid on Saturday night, including 36 people who had worked for the U.S. administration in Afghanistan.
The base is being use to host Afghan refugees who worked with the European Union and their families who will then move to other EU countries.