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No direct threat to Russia from Taliban in Afghanistan — ambassador

Dmitry Zhirnov also noted that there was an increased terrorist threat in Kabul

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. There is no direct threat to Russia from the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) activities in Afghanistan, Russian Ambassador to that country Dmitry Zhirnov said on Monday.

"There is no immediate direct threat [to Russia] from the Taliban," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel when asked whether the Taliban’s activities could threaten Russia directly.

According to the Russian diplomat, Taliban militants are not strong enough to seize the capital city and other big cities in the country.

In his words, the situation in Kabul is quite tense. "There is an increased terrorist threat here, and it is clear that this is the capital city of a country in a state of war. Nevertheless, no serious changes for the worse have been observed in Kabul since May," Zhirnov noted, adding that Russia’s, US’, China’s and Pakistan’s representatives are working on the settlement of the situation in that country via the Extended Troika mechanism. "We are pursuing a policy to push the conflicting parties to result-oriented talks that would put an end to the civil war," he stressed.

On June 22, Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security said that 134 soldiers of the Afghan government army had to retreat to the Tajik territory after a Taliban attack on the Sherkhon Bandar border checkpoint. One serviceman died and four were injured in the attack. Later, they returned to Kabul by a special flight.

Apart from that, seventeen Afghan troops crossed into Tajikistan near the Shakhritus checkpoint after an armed clash with a Taliban unit in the Balkh Province. Tajik border guards let the Afghan soldier inside the country.