Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said that his country will begin today, Wednesday, the construction of an air bridge to help the Afghan people and relieve the increasing pressure on the Taliban government.
Kabulov said – in exclusive interview Conducted with him by the American magazine “News Week” – Russia hopes and seeks for Afghanistan to become a normal country that enjoys peace internally and with neighboring countries, and that Moscow’s most prominent fears now are the fear that Afghanistan will become a source of international terrorism and drugs.
He explained that the Taliban was classified as a terrorist movement after the events of September 11, based on a Security Council resolution supported by Russia more than 20 years ago, and that this classification has become a thing of the past, as the movement has evolved after that.
And he indicated – in an interview with Tom O’Connor, foreign policy editor of Newsweek magazine in Moscow on Tuesday – that Russia realizes that the Taliban has abandoned its global jihadist agenda and has focused on domestic issues, and from this standpoint it has become a political-military opposition The country is fighting for power.
He said that his country respects the Taliban, which has proven its superiority despite the small number of its fighters, compared to all the parties that were fighting it and supported by the US government, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
He attributed this to several reasons, “the first of which is the morale of the movement. They believed that they were fighting against foreign occupation in order to gain their independence, and from this standpoint, they deserved this victory, because they sacrificed many lives in this war.”
Kabulov praised the efforts of the Taliban in fighting terrorist organizations, and said that the movement is fighting dangerous international terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and “does it much better than the American forces, and they make a lot of sacrifices for that.”
He said that by fighting terrorism, the movement “serves regional and international interests because those terrorist organizations stand against all of us, and the Taliban are doing their best (to eliminate them).”
“Therefore, it is illogical for the international community to do things that would weaken the ability of the Taliban administration to fight terrorism (and thus) intentionally or unintentionally support these international terrorists that the Taliban are fighting,” he added.
The Russian Special Envoy criticized the international community’s approach to dealing with the Taliban, and said that the movement pledged to do its utmost to eradicate the drug trade, and had succeeded in that before, but now it suffers from a financial deficit that hinders its management of the country’s affairs and the provision of social services to the population.
He expressed his fear of the international community’s approach to the Taliban, which says, “No, you have to do it first (fighting drugs), and then we will support you with money.” He believed that this “may push the movement to resort to drugs to compensate for the budget deficit.”
In response to a question about the next steps that Russia intends to take to address the situation in Afghanistan, the Russian special envoy said that Russia is not working to help Afghanistan alone, as there are 3 other countries that have a common understanding with Moscow about the next steps regarding Afghanistan.
“We believe that after we can help the Afghan people survive this winter, we and other important donors in Europe and Asia will work hard to convene the International Donor Conference on Afghanistan, which we believe should be under the umbrella of the United Nations as a global institution,” he added. That will be one of our main goals.”