Legislators on Tuesday asked President Hamid Karzai to not stick his nose into distant foreign political affairs like the accession of Crimea into the Russian Federation while there remains a fragile political situation in Afghanistan.

Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah also said that Karzai’s statement on the Crimea affair was inappropriate. He argued Karzai should give more focus to domestic issues like the Taliban’s massacre at the Serena Hotel last week that left nine dead, including women and children.

Karzai’s expression of support for Crimea’s accession to a delegation of U.S. officials earlier this week received blowback from Washington.

“A few days ago President Karzai celebrated the union of Crimea with the Russian Federation and announced that Afghanistan pursues its own ideals,” Abdullah said. “The nation circulates in blood, its security fails, poverty rises, and hopelessness exists – what exactly have you done for the nation?”

MPs on Tuesday said the government should focus on preventing foreign intelligence services from continuing to destabilize Afghanistan. A number of them advocated for continued partnership with the U.S., flying in the face of Karzai’s recent posturing and public crticism of his long-time ally in the west.

“We should strive to seek settlements on issues faced by the country with our close coordination and friendship with the international community and the U.S.,” Balkh MP Mohammad Abdoh said.

The Pentagon’s spokesman John Kirby acknowledged Karzai’s comments and defended his right to express himself, but also reaffirmed that the U.S. believes Russia has violated the “territorial integrirty of Ukraine”.

97 percent of the Crimeans who voted in the referendum held on 16 March were in favor of joining the Russian Federation.