Moscow developing ties with the Taliban: Russian foreign ministry

Timofey Boikov, Head of the Second Asian Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, expressed Russia’s perspective on the Taliban as a viable negotiating partner.

“Russia is fostering relations with Kabul and the interim government. We believe that the Taliban is capable of reaching agreements, asserting their full control over the country. Our objective is to establish equitable relations for the sake of trade and economic collaboration,” stated the diplomat during a discussion on Afghanistan at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The senior diplomat underscored the importance of an open dialogue, stating, “Today, it is crucial to engage in candid discussions, elucidating the situation in Afghanistan and dispelling the stigma associated with the country.”

“Russia is reevaluating its ties with the Taliban due to sanctions restricting oil sales to Afghanistan. The country desires to navigate its interactions with the Taliban and the opposition. Essentially, Russia aims to keep its options open, engage with the Taliban, dissent with the opposition, and participate in the international community,” remarked Wahid Faqiri, a political affairs analyst.

On November 23rd, Moscow hosted opposition figures of the Taliban, including Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front, marking exactly one month since the meeting. The objective of the gathering was Russia’s interest in Afghanistan’s stability and the formation of an inclusive political process in combating extremism and terrorism.

“Russia seeks to secure its interests in Afghanistan for national security and the stability of Central Asia, potentially making concessions in its engagements with Taliban officials,” noted Azizullah Ma’arij, a political affairs analyst.

It appears that China, Russia, Iran, and other countries maintain close ties with the Taliban, with all three nations accepting Taliban diplomats. Notably, on September 13th of this year, China appointed Zhaoxing as its ambassador to Afghanistan during Taliban rule. Following China’s lead, Russia is now actively working to enhance its relations with the Taliban.