Russia expects Taliban to fulfill promises on government inclusivity

MOSCOW — Russia expects the Taliban to fulfill its promises regarding the inclusivity of Afghanistan’s government, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference titled “Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era,” Rudenko reaffirmed Moscow’s stance on Afghanistan. “Our policy towards Afghanistan remains entirely unchanged,” he said when asked if an inclusive government was still a condition for the Taliban’s recognition.

“The proposal to remove the Taliban from the terrorist organizations list is aimed at creating conditions for the movement’s greater integration into global communication. This is also necessary to boost ties with them in various fields, including trade and economy, without considering the restrictions introduced in a different environment. The Taliban movement is the reality on the ground, and we need to take this into account,” Rudenko explained.

“We aren’t linking things; we just say that we do expect the Taliban movement to implement all the promises that it previously publicly made to the international community. However, we do not see it as a condition or link it with their activities and policies, particularly with regard to Russia,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on May 27 that the initiative to remove the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations “reflects awareness of reality.” Zamir Kabulov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, told TASS that the Foreign and Justice Ministries had reported to President Vladimir Putin about the possibility of removing the Taliban from the list of banned organizations.

On May 28, President Putin emphasized the need to build relations with the Taliban, acknowledging their control over Afghanistan.