Russia rejects reports of Moscow supporting Taliban movement in Afghanistan

| Updated: Apr 11, 2017 02:38 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Apr. 10 (ANI): Russia has rejected reports of alleged support given to the Taliban movement by Moscow. "The Embassy of the Russian Federation notes the continuing series of groundless accusations against Russia about alleged support of the Taliban movement by Moscow," Tolo News quoted a statement issued by the Russian Embassy in Kabul, as saying. "The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Afghanistan once again emphasises that all accusations of financial and logistical support of the Taliban movement are simply not true and at the present difficult stage of finding ways to establish a peace process such actions of black PR people are counterproductive," the statement added. The statement further said that it was surprising that statesmen, deputies and high-ranking police officers, based on rumours and conjectures and without providing the public any evidence, allow themselves to publically make irresponsible accusations against Russia in financing and supporting terrorism. Russia said it was strange that either photographic or audio visual evidence of these claims had surfaced, but didn't have any satellite images available to back up such claims. The statement noted that Russia made an important contribution to the collective fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and provided gratuitous assistance to equip the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) with weapons and ammunition. The statement also highlighted the number of scholarships provided to Afghans each year by Russian government. The statement comes after Russia has been, in recent times, accused of making new inroads into Afghanistan especially after their December meeting with the Taliban. Russia's Foreign Ministry, however, had earlier said that it was sharing intelligence and cooperating with the Taliban to fight Daesh in Afghanistan. Last month, United States Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is also NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, had said that Russia might be supplying Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. "I've seen the influence of Russia of late - increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban," he said. (ANI)