Islam News – When the Taliban swept over Afghanistan, Russia was ready for the rapid developments after working methodically for years to lay the groundwork for relations with the group that it still officially considers a terrorist organization.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized this week that Moscow was “in no rush” to recognize the Taliban as the new rulers of Afghanistan, but he added there were “encouraging signals” of their readiness to let other political forces join the government and allow girls into schools.
The Taliban was added to the Russian list of terrorist organizations in 2003, and Moscow has not yet moved to remove the group from the list. Any contact with such groups is punishable under Russian law, but the Foreign Ministry has responded to questions about the seeming contradiction by saying that its exchanges with the Taliban are essential for international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
Unlike many other countries, Russia said it wouldn’t evacuate its embassy in Kabul, and its ambassador quickly met with the Taliban for what he described as “constructive” talks after they took over the capital.
The Soviet Union fought a 10-year war in Afghanistan that ended with its troops withdrawing in 1989. Since then, Moscow has made a comeback as an influential power broker in international talks on Afghanistan. It has worked continuously to cultivate ties with the Taliban, hosting their representatives for a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings.
Source: AP NEWS