News World

Putin calls for Russia to ‘build up’ ties with Taliban government

Putin Russia 'build up' Taliban government
Source: Video screenshot

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called for Moscow to “build up” relations with the Taliban government, as a delegation visited Russia.

“We have always believed that we need to deal with reality. The Taliban are in power in Afghanistan… We have to build up relations with the Taliban government,” Putin said at a meeting with foreign news outlets.

Putin was speaking on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, where a Taliban delegation arrived on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had said last week that Moscow planned to take the Taliban off its list of banned terrorist organisations nearly three years after the group seized power from a US-backed government.

“They are the real power” in Afghanistan, Lavrov said at the time, speaking during a visit by Putin to Uzbekistan in Central Asia.

The Taliban has been designated a terrorist organisation in Russia since 2003.

The move could further boost diplomacy between Russia and Afghanistan, but would fall short of an official recognition of the Taliban government and what it calls the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”

Since taking over, Taliban authorities have enforced an extreme form of Islamic law that effectively bans women from public life.

Russia has for years fostered ties with the Taliban.

The head of US forces in Afghanistan claimed in 2018 that Moscow was providing weapons to the group — accusations Moscow denied at the time.

Moscow itself has a complicated history with Afghanistan, with the Soviet Union having fought a decade-long war against guerilla mujahideen fighters in the 1980s to prop up a Kremlin-backed government.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter