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SEPTEMBER 2020

US Commander Accuses Russia of Supporting Taliban in Afghanistan Again

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The Supreme Allied Commander Europe of the NATO Allied Command Operations has once again said that Moscow supports the Taliban in Afghanistan and even supplies the radical movement.

US Commander Accuses Russia of Supporting Taliban in Afghanistan Again

Commander of the US Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti speaks during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia, March 14, 2017 (Photo: Reuters / Ints Kalnins)

Russia has recently increased its influence on the Taliban radical movement, operating in Afghanistan, and perhaps even started to provide support to it, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of the NATO Allied Command Operations, US General Curtis Scaparrotti, said during hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee of the US Congress on Thursday.

Discussion of the issues, related to the Taliban and the situation in Afghanistan, was started by Senator Ted Cruz (Republican from Texas State). The politician pointed at the “growing support,” providing by Moscow not only to the Taliban, but also to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. Cruz did not give any details and only referred to some media reports.

In response, Scaparrotti said that NATO and the US “must win in Afghanistan.”

“I’ve seen the influence of Russia of late – increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban,” the General, who also heads the US European Command, said.

Finally, he accused Russia of the fact that it does not notify in a proper manner foreign partners on some of its military exercises.

Meanwhile, special representative of the Russian president and head of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Zamir Kabulov, told the RIA Novosti news agency that US statements, according to which Moscow supplies the Taliban, are lies.

“This is absolutely false assertions, we have repeatedly reacted to this. It does not even deserve any reaction, as these statements are concoctions, aimed to justify the failure of US military and politicians in the Afghan campaign, we cannot find another explanation,” Kabulov said.

According to the diplomat, the US duplicates such statements in order to find an originator of its failures. “But they are looking for the originator anywhere, only not in Washington,” he added.

Previously, the Russian Foreign Ministry already stated that Moscow’s limited contacts with the Taliban should encourage the movement to reach peace and ensure the safety of Russians in Afghanistan. The department stressed that these actions do not “legitimize” Talibans, as they were actually recognized by Kabul as dialogue partners during a series of official meetings in Qatar, China, the UAE, Norway and Pakistan in 2015.

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