MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not planning to meet with the Taliban radical militant group (outlawed in Russia) who is expected to arrive in Moscow in October for consultations, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
When asked by TASS if a meeting between Putin and Taliban representatives was being planned, the Russian presidential spokesman replied "No."
The Russian leader said at a CIS summit on Friday that it was necessary to interact with the Taliban but there should be no haste to officially recognize them.
The Russian leader also believes that it is necessary to support the process of intra-Afghan reconciliation and promote normalization in that country. In Putin’s opinion, efforts can be taken to contribute to the resumption of activities by the enlarged troika (Russia, the United States and China with Pakistan’s participation) and also the Moscow format, in which the region’s key countries are involved.
The Russian leader said that work was underway to hold meetings within the framework of these mechanisms in Moscow in the near future, in October.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier said that Moscow was expecting the arrival of a large Taliban delegation for consultations on Afghanistan next week. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that preparations for contacts on Afghanistan were underway.
The Moscow format meeting is scheduled for October 20. This platform emerged in 2017 on the basis of a six-party mechanism of consultations by special envoys from Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, and Pakistan.