By Nina Bachkatov
For those waiting for clear Russian signals about Afghanistan, the clearest one came from President Putin himself on 3 September when he addressed a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum. The Forum has been established by presidential decree in 2015 to support the economic development of the Eastern part of Russia and attract foreign investors. Putin’s message to the West, with whom Russia had tense relations, was to remind that the Russian eagle on the flag had to heads, one looking West and the other East. By chance, it was from Vladivostok that Putin found himself explaining Russian positions, about Afghanistan, after a Western debacle.
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