Russia considers delisting Taliban to foster necessary contacts, diplomat says

ST. PETERSBURG — Russia is exploring the potential removal of the Taliban from its list of terrorist organizations, a move driven by the necessity of maintaining contacts for combating terrorism and other issues, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Speaking on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Zakharova addressed concerns raised by certain bloggers and journalists about Russia’s engagement with the Taliban, the current government in Afghanistan.

“Those who critique these contacts fail to understand that addressing issues such as drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime necessitates dialogue,” Zakharova said. “It is in our national interest to respond pragmatically to evolving circumstances.”

The diplomat emphasized the importance of interdepartmental collaboration in making decisions regarding the possible delisting of the Taliban. “This process involves experts from various fields and is grounded in the need to address problems exacerbated by the United States’ actions in Afghanistan,” she stated.

Zakharova highlighted that the international community, along with regional and Afghan efforts, must work together to find solutions. She did not specify a timeline for when the delisting decisions might be made.