MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia’s contacts with the Afghan Taliban are aimed at persuading them to join the political process of settling the situation in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
When commenting on attempts to accuse Russia of supporting the Afghan Taliban, the ministry said that "representatives of foreign military units deployed to Afghanistan as well as some Afghan officials have been recently accusing Moscow of supporting the Taliban Movement."
"Russia has been accused of supplying them with weapons, financing their activities and even assisting them in setting up militant training camps on Afghanistan’s territory. Needless to say, no evidence to back up these accusations has been provided," the statement reads.
"Attempts to make Afghan society and the global community believe that Russia has been disrupting international counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, seem to be part of a staged campaign aimed at discrediting our country," the statement adds.
"Obviously, some Afghan and foreign forces, not interested in stabilizing the situation in the country, are behind these attempts," the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say. "Another goal is to distract people’s attention from numerous mistakes made during the more than 16-year period of the foreign military presence in Afghanistan."
The ministry stressed that "by maintaining limited contacts with the Taliban, Russia seeks to persuade them to join the process of national reconciliation led by the Kabul government, which is based on three principles, including the recognition of the Afghan constitution, disarmament and cutting ties with the ISIL and Al-Qaeda terror groups (both outlawed in Russia) as well as other terrorist organizations.".