Russia to unban Taliban, invites it to Economy conference

Russia will remove the Taliban from its list of banned terrorist organizations, three years after the group returned to power in Afghanistan, a move that comes as Moscow seeks to deepen its ties with Afghanistan despite international sanctions.

“For years, we have fostered relations with the Taliban, holding multiple rounds of talks and boosting trade with Afghanistan,” said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as quoted by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Monday. “Kazakhstan recently (in 2023) decided to remove them from their list of terrorist organizations, and we will follow suit.”

Russia’s decision is expected to enhance diplomatic relations with Afghanistan but stops short of officially recognizing the Taliban government, known as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”

The Taliban seized power in August 2021 from a U.S.-backed government and has since imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law, severely restricting women’s rights and participation in public life.

Lavrov explained that Russia’s decision reflects the current realities on the ground. “They are the real power in Afghanistan. We are not indifferent to the country’s future, and neither are our Central Asian allies,” he said.


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