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Both leaders said Afghanistan figured prominently during the outgoing German leader's final working visit to Russia.

Putin also criticised the "irresponsible policy" of imposing "outside values" on war-torn Afghanistan.

The Russian president also highlighted the importance of preventing "terrorists" from entering neighbouring countries from Afghanistan, including "under the guise of refugees"

"You cannot impose standards of political life and behaviour on other people from outside," Putin said.

The Russian president also highlighted the importance of preventing "terrorists" from entering neighbouring countries from Afghanistan, including "under the guise of refugees".

Moscow has been cautiously optimistic about the new leadership in Kabul and is seeking contact with the militants in an effort to avoid instability spilling over to neighbouring ex-Soviet states.

The Kremlin has in recent years reached out to the Taliban -- which is banned as an "extremist" group in Russia -- and hosted its representatives in Moscow several times, most recently last month.

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