The New York Times wrote that the Central Intelligence Agency sends millions of dollars to the administration of the current President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. The cash, the newspaper said, is secretly sent packed in luggage. The CIA thus obtains influence on the Afghan leader and his inner circle. The latter, in turn, use the money to conduct negotiations with Afghan warlords.
Iraqi authorities also transfer large amounts of money to Afghanistan.
The New York Times accused the U.S. government of creating monstrous corruption that thrives today in Afghanistan and of undermining Washington's strategy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Earlier, U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake, said at a press conference in Astana that the United States intends to keep a number of bases in Afghanistan and Central Asia after 2014.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign