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Russia Ready to Step Up Afghan Economic Aid, Putin Tells Karzai

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June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Russia is ready to step up economic assistance to Afghanistan, President Vladimir Putin said during talks with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai in Beijing.

“We are talking about reconstructing what was built during the time of the Soviet Union and new projects,” Putin said today at the meeting, according to a pool report from the Itar-Tass news service.

Putin also promised to continue providing military assistance. Russia is training Afghan technicians to service 21 Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopters that the U.S. has ordered for Afghanistan’s armed forces.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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