Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in July described the Taliban as a “powerful force”


While many international locations are scrambling to empty their embassies and take away their workers from Afghanistan, Russia is staying put — it has lengthy ready for the arrival of the Taliban in Kabul.

Despite the hardline Islamist group tracing its origins again to the warfare in opposition to the Soviets within the Nineteen Eighties, Russia’s view on the group now’s pragmatic.

Analysts say the Kremlin needs to guard its pursuits in Central Asia, the place it has a number of army bases, and is eager to keep away from instability and potential terrorism spreading via a area on its doorstep.

A Russian overseas ministry assertion Monday stated the state of affairs in Kabul “is stabilising” and claimed that the Taliban had began to “restore public order”.

And ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov stated the Taliban — who he was as a consequence of meet Tuesday — was already guarding his embassy and had given Moscow ensures that the constructing could be secure.

The terrorists had assured the Russians that “not a single hair will fall from the heads” of their diplomats, he stated.

This is a stark distinction to the final time hardliners got here to energy in Afghanistan in 1992, when Moscow struggled to evacuate its embassy beneath fireplace after a disastrous decade-long warfare.

Three a long time later, the Kremlin has boosted the Taliban’s worldwide credibility by internet hosting it a number of occasions for talks in Moscow — regardless of the motion being a banned terrorist organisation in Russia.

Sovereignty vs safety

The intention of those talks, say analysts, is to cease the battle from spilling into neighbouring international locations and a terrorism spike in its Central Asian neighbours, the place Russia maintains army bases.

“If we want there to be peace in Central Asia, we need to talk to the Taliban,” stated Nikolai Bordyuzha, the previous secretary normal of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). He counseled the Russian embassy for staying open.

The Taliban has moved to reassure its northern neighbours that it has no designs on them, regardless of a number of Central Asian international locations having supplied logistical assist to Washington’s warfare effort.

Ambassador Zhirnov prompt the Taliban had additionally given Moscow assurances.

He stated Russia needed Afghanistan to have peaceable relations with “all the countries in the world” and that “the Taliban had already promised us” this.

But Russia’s overseas ministry has prompt it is not going to rush into a detailed relationship with a Taliban authorities, saying it might monitor the group’s conduct earlier than deciding on recognition.

And because the Taliban superior via Afghanistan this summer time, Russia staged warfare video games with allies Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on the Afghan border in a present of power.

Central Asia knowledgeable Arkady Dubnov stated Moscow would now look to strengthen its army presence within the area.

“To different extents, these countries will be obliged to accept Moscow’s help, but none will want to exchange their sovereignty for their security,” he stated.

He pressured that Afghanistan’s three Central Asian neighbours — Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan — have completely different approaches to the battle.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan held high-level talks with the Taliban and are prone to recognise Taliban rule, whereas Tajikistan has not engaged with the militants.

Years of courting

Russia’s dialogue with the Taliban is the fruit of a number of years of courting.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in July described the Taliban as a “powerful force”, and blamed the Afghan authorities for faltering progress in talks.

“It is not for nothing that we have been establishing contacts with the Taliban movement for the last seven years,” the Kremlin’s Afghanistan envoy, Zamir Kabulov, advised the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Monday.

This relationship has raised many eyebrows, provided that the Taliban has its roots within the anti-Soviet Mujahideen motion from the Nineteen Eighties.

But Alexander Baunov of the Carnegie Moscow Center stated Russia now believed the Taliban have modified for the reason that final time it was in energy within the Nineteen Nineties when it gave shelter to Al-Qaeda.

“Moscow does not see this version of the Mujahideen as its enemy,” he advised AFP.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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