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Russia To Strike Off Taliban From Its List Of Terrorist Organizations

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Three years after the Taliban reclaimed control in Afghanistan, Russia will take them off a list of terrorist organizations that are prohibited from operating, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency announced on Monday.

“Kazakhstan has recently taken the decision, which we are also going to take, to remove them from the list of terrorist organisations,” RIA Novosti quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying. According to Lavrov, Russia made its decision after taking into account the local circumstances.

By the end of 2023, Kazakhstan has taken the Taliban off its list of prohibited organizations.

Despite UN sanctions, Moscow has been fostering relations with the Taliban for years, holding several rounds of negotiations and increasing trade with Afghanistan. Although the move would not amount to an official recognition of the Taliban administration and what it refers to as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” it might further strengthen diplomatic relations between Russia and Afghanistan.

“They are the real power. We are not indifferent to Afghanistan. And above all our allies in Central Asia are not indifferent,” Lavrov said.

In 2021, the Taliban overthrew a government that the US had supported. They have imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law that essentially forbids women from engaging in public life.

According to official media, Russia extended an invitation to Taliban delegates to attend its premier Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Once upon a time, this occasion was regarded as the cornerstone of Russia’s trade ties with the West.

In 2018, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan asserted that Moscow was arming the group; Moscow refuted these claims at the time.

Russia has classified the Taliban as a terrorist organization since 2003.

Moscow itself has a convoluted history with Afghanistan; in the 1980s, it waged a ten-year war against guerilla mujahideen militants in order to support a government backed by the Kremlin.

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