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Afghanistan’s national currency may plunge amid asset freeze in US — Russian diplomat

At the same time, Kabulov noted that Afghanistan is experiencing shortages of cash

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. Afghanistan’s national currency, the afghani, is devaluating on a daily basis amid the US decision to freeze the country’s financial assets, Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan and Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"Our Western colleagues need to somehow solve this issue now. The afghani is being withheld, and I don’t quite understand the rationale of this move," he said. "Money tends to devalue when not in circulation."

At the same time, Kabulov noted that Afghanistan is experiencing shortages of cash, "not just of US dollars, but of the national currency as well."

"A range of large companies, both domestic and international, have accumulated vast amounts of the national currency in their vaults. Apparently, they don’t know how to use it, but there is a lack of cash in circulation," he said.

On August 15, the US administration froze the Afghan government's state reserves in US banks in order to prevent the radical movement from getting access to the funds. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also halted all assistance to Kabul. The frozen assets amount to about $9.5 bln.

The Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) embarked on a large-scale operation to take the country under control. Taliban fighters swept into Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on August 15, without encountering any resistance, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country. On September 7, the Taliban announced an interim government, which has not been recognized by any country yet.