MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Afghan authorities have assured Moscow that they are still interested in using Russian weapons and military equipment, Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov, who is also the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, said on Thursday.
"When we raised this question before Afghanistan’s authorities, they admitted, though reluctantly, that it [statements about their refusal to use Russian-made weapons - TASS] was the United States’ position, while they were actually still interested in using Russian weapons and military equipment," the Russian diplomat said.
He said that the situation when the US military made statements on behalf of Kabul was strange. "Only the country’s legitimate government is eligible to say such things," Kabulov noted.
Washington is accusing Moscow of arms supplies to the Taliban radical Islamist movement to cover up its failures in Afghanistan, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov said.
"The philosophy is as follows: the situation has only deteriorated over the 17 years of the US presence in Afghanistan," the senior Russian diplomat said, commenting on the causes of the accusations.
"So, a culprit has to be found," he added.
"Russia, Iran and Pakistan have been chosen as those to blame for that. This trio, in the opinion of Washington’s propaganda inventors, is the main cause of US failures in Afghanistan," Kabulov said.
The best way to integrate the Taliban movement into Afghanistan’s power is to involve them in elections, because artificial deployment of posts is hardly productive, Russian diplomat believes.
"The best way that is widely used by the global community is participation of the Taliban representatives as political parties or political figures representing Afghanistan’s regions in elections, both parliamentary and presidential ones," he said.
"Distributions like the ones made in Bonn (the International Conference on Afghanistan held in Bonn in 2001 - TASS), when they sat down, distributed ministerial posts and then improvised, would be hardly productive," the diplomat added.
The Russian envoy added that agreements to integrate the Taliban movement into Afghan society should become part of a package agreement and that the path to it will be difficult. "It is easier said than done. There are domain experts. They will provide more useful advice when we get to it," Kabulov concluded.