Russia and Taliban started a two-way game since the takeover of the country by Taliban. Russia is on way to recognize Taliban rule.
Since the Taliban gained control over the country, Russia and Taliban has held the most high-profile diplomatic meetings over the issue. Moscow has attempted to push for inflow of assistance to rebuild the country’s ravaged economy, seeking a more pluralistic administration.
Moscow’s gamble was subject to a test in a recent visit of Taliban officials following Russia’s invitation. Russian President had formerly warned that there must be no haste to accept the Taliban as country’s new rulers. Putin’s emphasis, nevertheless, seem to be signaling Moscow’s inclination to do so.
As the group’s spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday before the visit, Taliban authorities attended the conference to offer its “point of view.” Taliban officials have been to a number of other countries since their control over Afghanistan in August. It has been a way to gain international legitimacy, partly to avoid the downfall of Afghan economy.
During Last Wednesday’s meeting, senior Russian officials made tried to clarify that formal acknowledgment of Taliban administration relies on a number of factors. Improving human rights condition and making an inclusive cabinet, having females as non-Pashtun in the list are among the main factors.
“A big political bargaining is going on,” Russian special envoy on Afghanistan said at the Moscow conference. Zamir Kabulov further explained that “both human rights and inclusivity” are the main requirements by the international community.
Worries about Taliban’s prevention of females from completing secondary school and prohibition of women from working outside have been pervasive since Taliban takeover. There has also been concerns about Taliban’s revenge mission against special groups of opposition and Shiite groups in the country. Russia and Taliban have a long way to go.
Russia and Taliban; A Two-Way Game
“Not everyone likes the new government in Afghanistan, but by punishing the government, we punish the whole people;” Zamir Kabulov said calling the global society of forsake “bias” regarding Taliban. These expressions by Moscow clearly shows the country’s neglecting approach regarding the Taliban conduct so far.
During the past twenty years, Russia has recognised the Taliban as a terrorist organisation. The country, however, has left its embassy open in Afghan capital and maintains frequent communication with the new de-facto rulers.
Following the takeover of Afghanistan, Russia’s long-time concerns erupted again leading to its active part in the developments. Moscow is especially concerned that narcotics and radicalism may cross the Afghan border into other parts of the region.
Afghan lands in the main centre of most opium production globally. The country is also a powerful regional center for the ISIS that has already carried out a series of suicide assaults. Referring to the two concerns, Russian foreign minister says “numerous terrorist groups, notably the Islamic State and al-Qaida are trying to take advantage of the instability in the country mounting bloody attacks.” Lavrov also further added that “there is a real danger of terrorism and drugs spilling into the neighbouring nations under the guise of migration.”
On the other side, Taliban need Russia as a powerful ally to reinforce the pillars of its rule in Afghanistan. From economy to security and political assistance, Moscow, along with Beijing, could be a vital part of Taliban stability and power grab process.
Russia and Taliban, thus, need one another to proceed with their local and regional objective in the future. Russia seeks to fill the vacant left after the withdrawal of US in Afghanistan. Taliban seeks to use the chance to consolidate its footstep in the country.