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Moscow slams Western media allegations about alleged Russian support for Taliban

July 26, 2017, 18:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, CNN showed two video clips contending that Russia has been supplying weapons to Taliban militants

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© Roman Kanaschyk/TASS

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Accusations by some western media outlets on alleged Russian support for Taliban militants are groundless, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Wednesday.

Earlier, CNN showed two video clips contending that Russia has been supplying weapons to Taliban militants. One of the clips shows a group of gunmen operating in the area of Herat, Afghanistan showing off weapons seized from a rival group. In the second videotape, Taliban militants are brandishing a pistol, claiming that it was made in Russia.

"Video footage displaying old firearms, whose whereabouts are impossible to establish, can hardly be taken seriously. It (the firearm) doesn’t have the manufacturer’s seal, and the serial numbers are blotted out. Besides, the guns that are shown are standard," the ministry went on.

"As we know, such samples were produced not only in Russia, but also in other countries, especially in Eastern Europe, from where the Americans have been bringing them into Afghanistan on a massive scale since the start of the 2000s," it said.

The Foreign Ministry also focused on a recent attack by Taliban militants on a base of the Afghan national security forces in the Helmand province in which they used US armored vehicles. "What conclusions can be drawn on the basis of this information using the logic of CNN?" the ministry asked.

"Accusations by some western (media) and some echoing them in Afghan media outlets as to the alleged support by Russia for gunmen from the Taliban movement are groundless," the ministry noted.

"Currently, neither the Afghan authorities nor the command of the US and NATO contingents in Afghanistan have furnished any evidence confirming these speculations," it went on.

"We once again emphasize: Russia is not supporting the Taliban movement, and contacts with Taliban are maintained solely in order to ensure the safety of Russian nationals in Afghanistan and to motivate this group to join the process of national reconciliation," the ministry stressed.

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