Russia refutes allegations of supporting Taliban

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Moscow [Russia], Mar. 11 (ANI): Refuting allegations that Kremlin supports the Taliban movement, Russia has said that such accusations are a staged campaign to discredit the country. "The Russian side is 'charged' with the supply of arms, financing the activities of this extremist organisation and even assisting in setting up of training camps for militants on the Afghan territory. Needless to say, all these accusations are not substantiated. Replication of such absurd figments reveals a staged campaign to discredit our country, with throwing in a message of "undermining" international anti-terrorist efforts in Afghanistan by Russia to the Afghan and the world community," said an official statement. The statement said that behind these attempts there stand certain forces both outside Afghanistan and inside it who are not interested in stabilising the situation in that country while claiming that this is also being done to divert attention from the responsibility for numerous mistakes made in more than sixteen years of the foreign military presence in Afghanistan. "Russia makes a significant contribution to the collective fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. We provide free assistance in equipping the Afghan National Security Forces with arms and ammunition, organizing training of their officers in respective Russian educational institutions," the statement added. However, the statement admitted to have 'limited contacts' with the Taliban which it said was aimed at ensuring safety of Russian citizens in Afghanistan and encouraging the Taliban to join the national reconciliation process. "These actions are unlikely to "legitimise" the Taliban as the movement was already recognised by Kabul as an equal dialogue partner during the series of meetings of IRA officials held in 2015 with representatives of the Taliban in Qatar, China, the UAE, Norway, Pakistan," the statement added. It is not a secret that many countries of the region and beyond, as well as the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan maintain contacts with the Taliban. Unfortunately, until now such meetings and various formats established to help stabilize the situation in the IRA have been unsuccessful, it said. It added that Moscow has decided to intensify efforts to develop a unified regional approach to advancing the process of national reconciliation and creating favourable conditions for establishing direct talks between Afghan government and the Taliban. (ANI)