MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Russia and the United States have established a regular dialogue on Afghanistan, which could have bothered certain political circles in Washington, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Argumenty i Fakty weekly, commenting on the publications about the alleged bounties on US servicemen that Moscow allegedly offered to Afghan militants.
Patrushev noted that the US administration repeatedly imposed sanctions against Russia "based on fake news."
"Now, their media has suddenly latched on to Afghanistan, which our countries have established a regular dialogue on; apparently, this fact bothered certain political circles," Patrushev said.
"Russian and American intelligence services cooperate in a wide range of fields. Countering terrorism is a field where we have concrete practical results," Patrushev underscored.
In this regard, he continued, any allegations that Russia conspired with the Taliban, especially in a bid to assassinate US servicemen, are baseless.
"I would like to believe that in the future, the American media will be more responsible with their publications and won’t fuel additional strife between Moscow and Washington. We can only hope that US political circles will settle their internal issues without trying to score an electoral win at Russia’s expense," the security official said.
"Such a hostile thrust in our direction is hardly likely to facilitate the restoration of the atmosphere of trust, which both Moscow and Washington have been proclaiming for several years already," the secretary underscored.
Moscow has never cooperated with the Taliban, outlawed in Russia, the Security Council secretary went on. "Frankly speaking, it was the United States that laid the foundation for the Taliban movement," he pointed out, adding that in the 1980s, Washington had shelled out billions of dollars to support the Afghan mujahideen, "who later formed the bulk of terrorist forces not only in Afghanistan but also in the entire region."
"National Security Advisor to US President [Jimmy Carter] Zbigniew Brzezinski’s revelations are well-known, he admitted that Washington had sought to sponsor Afghan terrorists to satisfy its geopolitical goal," Patrushev noted.
"Russia, in contrast, has never cooperated with the Taliban," the top security official emphasized, pointing out that the Russian Supreme Court had designated the Taliban as a terrorist group in 2003.
When commenting on media reports about Russia’s alleged ‘bounties’ to Afghan militants to kill US troops, Patrushev said that "these are ridiculous allegations." According to him, those who make such statements either know little about the situation in Afghanistan or "deliberately seek to distort the truth."
About the report
On June 26, The New York Times published an article, alleging that an unidentified division of the Russian military intelligence goaded Taliban militants into attacking servicemen from the US-led international coalition in Afghanistan. The newspaper claimed that such conclusions by US intelligence services were presented to President Donald Trump several months ago, while the White House National Security Council discussed this issue in late March.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov called these allegations a lie and a "total hoax." On June 27, the Russian Foreign Ministry labeled the initial publication on this issue as intentionally false.
According to the ministry, "this piece of straightforward fake news clearly illustrates the low intellectual capabilities of American intelligence propagandists, who have to come up with such nonsense instead of inventing something more credible."
On June 28, Trump tweeted that US intelligence labelled the reports of the alleged Russian attempts to offer bounties to the Afghan militants for assassinating US servicemen as false. Trump speculated that The New York Times, who published the initial report, could have published "another fabricated Russia Hoax," in a bid to "make Republicans look bad."