DUSHANBE, September 15. /TASS/. Moscow maintains contacts with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) on issues that are primarily related to removing any risks to neighboring Central Asian countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Wednesday.
"The Taliban proclaimed their goals themselves, declaring, in particular, their commitment to further fighting against terrorism and drug trafficking. They assured everyone else that they would do their utmost to prevent any threats for neighboring countries from Afghan soil, that they had no intention of destabilizing neighboring countries and that they would form an inclusive government that reflected the full spectrum of Afghan society, and its political, ethnic and confessional balance," he said. "We supported [that], just like the vast majority of countries across the globe, we welcomed this approach, and now we are keeping an eye on how it will be implemented. Of course, too little time has passed to draw any final conclusions. However, let me repeat that at this stage we maintain contacts with them on current issues, primarily those that are related to ruling out any risks to our Central Asian neighbors."
Despite the fact that the Taliban regime has not been recognized by anyone yet, all countries are conscious of the need to foster dialogue on a number of key issues with them, Lavrov went on to say. "The Taliban, of course, have not yet been formally recognized by any country. However, everyone says that it is necessary to have contacts on current issues with them, first and foremost, on security issues, respect for citizens’ rights, the normal operation of diplomatic missions, but no one is in a hurry to recognize [them] formally," he noted.
After the US announced the end of its operation in Afghanistan and the beginning of its troop withdrawal, the Taliban launched an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban militants swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, establishing full control over the country’s capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. On September 6, the Taliban said they had taken control of the entire Afghan territory, and on September 7, they announced that an interim government had been formed.