Russia says it is working on removing Taliban from its terrorist list

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia has important matters to discuss with ‘de facto authority in Afghanistan’

Reuters April 02, 2024
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov looks on during a visit of CIS heads of state to the Catherine Palace at the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum and Reserve in Saint Petersburg, Russia December 26, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Russia said on Tuesday it had important matters to discuss with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders and was working to remove the Taliban from its list of banned terrorist organisations.

"This is a country that is next to us, and one way or another we communicate with them," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"We need to resolve pressing issues, this also requires dialogue, so in this regard we communicate with them like practically everyone else - they are the de facto authority in Afghanistan."

Read more: Taliban chief says women will be stoned to death, flogged in public

Peskov did not elaborate on the "pressing issues", but Russia suffered its deadliest attack for 20 years last month when gunmen stormed a concert hall outside Moscow, killing at least 144 people.

Dai’sh militants claimed responsibility and US officials said they had intelligence that it was the network's Afghan branch, Islamic State Khorasan, that was responsible. Russia has said it is also investigating a Ukrainian link, something Kyiv and the United States have strongly rejected.

The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in 2021 after the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces, but have remained until now on a list of organisations that Russia designates as terrorist.


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