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Russia sees no threat to Central Asia from Taliban, presidential envoy says

"There are no facts proving otherwise," Zamir Kabulov noted

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Moscow sees no threat from the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) to Central Asian countries, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told Channel One on Monday.

"We see no direct threat to our allies in Central Asia. There are no facts proving otherwise," he pointed out.

Kabulov emphasized that Russia had established contact with the Taliban movement in advance. "We have long built ties and contact with the Taliban movement," he said. "The fact that we laid the groundwork for a conversation with Afghanistan’s new authorities in advance is a Russian foreign policy achievement, which we will take advantage of fully to ensure Russia’s long-term interests," the diplomat added.

"We have long been in talks with the Taliban on the prospects for development after their capture of power and they have repeatedly confirmed that they have no extraterritorial ambition, they learned the lessons of 2000," Kabulov stressed. "However, it doesn’t mean that we can relax. When a regime changes completely, some space emerges for other international terrorist organizations that may pose a threat to our allies in the future," he said.

According to the Al Arabiya TV channel, members of the Taliban movement entered Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Sunday, meeting no resistance, and started to take control of government buildings and police stations abandoned by government forces. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country. The Taliban announced later that they had taken control of all districts of the capital.