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Tags: Afghanistan | Russia | afghanistan | russia | taliban | ambassador | embassy

Russia Establishes Working Contact With Taliban in Afghanistan

Russia Establishes Working Contact With Taliban in Afghanistan
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar (R) met with the Russian Ambassador to Kabul, Mr. Dmitry Zhirnov (L) in March 2021. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 August 2021 07:53 AM

Russia appears to be in position to capitalize on the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban regaining control in the country.

Although Sputnik News says the Taliban "is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries," CNN reported Monday that Russia's foreign ministry announced it had established working contacts with the Taliban and had no plans to evacuate its embassy.

The ministry said the Taliban had "started to restore public order" in Kabul and across Afghanistan after seizing control of the capital city Sunday.

The Russian ambassador to Afghanistan said he intended to travel with Taliban members through the capital city of Kabul to make sure it was safe, Sputnik News reported.

"I want to take a drive around the city with the Taliban and just see with my own eyes and make sure ... is it really calm," Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov told Russia radio network Ekho Moskvy.

Zhirnov added Taliban officials said that it would be possible to choose "any route."

As Taliban insurgents made their way toward Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was among many people who fled in the days before, fearing for their lives.

Five people were killed in the chaos at Kabul airport on Monday, witnesses said, as U.S. troops guarded the evacuation of embassy staff, Reuters reported.

Zhirnov said the Taliban guaranteed amnesty to all Russian diplomats and security forces.

"No witch hunt, no purges," said the ambassador, who added the Taliban ensured that "not a single hair" would fall from the head of Russian officials.

"Tomorrow I will have a meeting with high-ranking Taliban officials, who coordinate security issues in the city, and not only in the city. I will work out with the all the security issues of the embassy in detail, according to the list, and so that the staff here work and live well. Plus, in addition to the embassy, we also have the Russian Center for Science and Culture, it also needs to be protected and guarded."

Zhirnov said the Taliban were guarding the Russian embassy in Kabul with armored vehicles and machine guns.

"A brigade empowered by high-ranking officials, it came to us today, led by their senior," Zhirnov said. "He confirmed all the directives to ensure the safety of the diplomatic mission. They are standing around the clock, there is an armored vehicle with machine guns, everything is fine."

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Russia appears to be in position to capitalize on the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban regaining control in the country. Although Sputnik News says the Taliban "is a terrorist organization...
afghanistan, russia, taliban, ambassador, embassy
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2021-53-17
Tuesday, 17 August 2021 07:53 AM
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