Monitoring Desk: The Federation of Russia has expressed concerns over high pitch battles near Kabul.
The spokesperson of the Foreign Office of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova has said that Russia urges the conflicting sides to scale down their military activities in Afghanistan and to use the time left until the final withdrawal of foreign troops to hold reconciliation talks.
While holding her weekly briefing on Friday (May 21, 2021) she said:
We urge the conflicting sides to scale down their military activities and to use the time left until the final withdrawal of foreign troops to hold reconciliation talks.
She added that the Taliban have captured important places just 50Km away from Capital Kabul and battled has intensified creating a risk for Central Asian borders also. She added that all the parties should refrain from hostilities and wait for the complete withdrawal of US and NATO forces.
Russia is trying to trade peace in Afghanistan and the Moscow Format was an important platform where representatives from 11 countries from across the world were in attendance, including members of the Taliban political office and various Afghan groups and factions. It was the first time that the Taliban were invited to an international forum for discussion on peace in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Russia was also an active part of the “Four Party Talks” that were initiated to resume US-Taliban negotiations and ensure that the settlement protects the human, political and economic rights of Afghans as a priority. These talks included Russia, China, and Pakistan. In these talks, the US was represented by the US representative for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad.
Moreover, the Russian leadership, especially President Vladimir Putin has stated on several occasions that Russia is ready to work with all stakeholders in Afghanistan, especially the US, for the resolution of the conflict. He has stated, however, that the US presence in Afghanistan is not seen as a threat to Moscow’s external interests.
Russia, since the US invasion, has adopted a very mature approach towards Afghanistan and also started to be actively involved in Afghan affairs. It is a strong advocate of a peaceful, political settlement of the Afghan conflict, a settlement that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.