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Russia condemns attempts to accuse it of supporting Taliban - Russia’s envoy to UN

November 21, 2017, 2:27 UTC+3 UN

Vasily Nebenzya said that Russia was the only country that "consistently and systematically" advocates for "application of a terrorist group definition to the Taliban"

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Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya

Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

UN, November 21. /TASS/. Russia has condemned attempts to accuse it of supporting the Taliban movement (prohibited in Russian Federation), Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at the UN General Assembly’s session on settlement of the Afghan crisis.

"We consider it unacceptable to launch a deliberate campaign against our country when they groundlessly accuse us of supporting the Taliban, up to financing it and providing regular supplies of weapons. We see it as an attempt to shift the blame to someone else," the diplomat said.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in support of an effective and lasting settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.

Nebenzya said that during the discussion of the draft resolution Russia was the only country that "consistently and systematically" advocates for "application of a terrorist group definition to the Taliban."

According to him, such a step "will exclude the possibilities for mitigating the criminal prosecution of its members."

"We plan to continue insisting on this approach, since we do not see any alternatives and we will never accept loopholes that will allow terrorists to evade responsibility, using the notorious concept of countering violent extremism," the Russian diplomat said.

He noted that Moscow is concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, including the state of the country's security forces. "Their decision to replace Russian aircraft, small arms, as well as the reform on lowering the age limit for officers in Afghanistan is regrettable. This will result in the washing out of several thousands of the most experienced personnel," the diplomat said.

According to him, the Taliban continues to control about half of the country, while the Afghan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) "is strengthening its position." According to Russia’s estimates, its number has reached 10, 000 people. The group replenishes its ranks with foreign mercenaries who received combat experience in Syria and Iraq, he said.

In addition, the Russian envoy to the US expressed concern over the unprecedented growth in drug production in Afghanistan. He referred to the data from the latest report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime saying that the area of ··drug crops increased by 60% this year and the production of opium has almost doubled. According to the diplomat, in this situation, Russia stands for stepping up the efforts of the international community in the fight against Afghan drug trafficking, including through cooperation between Afghanistan and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

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