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Russian intel in contact with Taliban to ensure security of citizens and embassy — envoy

Special Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov stressed that all Russian citizens who wish to leave Afghanistan would be repatriated

MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Russian special services are in contact with representatives of the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) to guarantee the security of Russian nationals and the embassy in Afghanistan, Special Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov said at an online conference on Monday.

"Such contacts [by the special services with the Taliban] are being held and they are fully justified and necessary. This concerns the security of our embassy and our citizens who are living in Afghanistan," the envoy said.

"There are few of them but quite many and that is why we need to take care of our missions and citizens," Kabulov said.

All Russian citizens who wish to leave Afghanistan will be repatriated, he stressed.

The Taliban radical militant group (outlawed in Russia) launched a large-scale offensive to seize control of Afghanistan after the United States declared its intention in the spring of this year to withdraw its troops from the country.

On August 15, the Taliban swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance while Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country. The Taliban declared on September 6 that they had taken control of all of Afghan territory, and on September 7 they unveiled an interim government in Afghanistan that has not been recognized by any country so far.