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Military hardware abandoned by US could fuel civil war in Afghanistan – Russia

Taliban members are seen on a road in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan (Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua/IANS)

A worried Moscow is fearing that military equipment left behind by the US forces in Afghanistan could fuel another civil war in the war-torn country.

"I hope that the weapons the Americans have abandoned will not be used for further civil war, which fortunately has come to an end in Afghanistan. But we should give thought to what happens to this military hardware in the future," news agency Tass quoted Zamir Kabulov, the Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan, as saying in an interview to state-owned Russian-language news channel Russia 24.  

Kabulov warned the "Western counterparts" that if they are truly concerned about the future of the Afghan people, then they should by no means create hindrances to normalization in the country such as a freeze on the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Afghan state, being kept in US banks.

"If this fails to be done and further pressure is the tactic of choice, the likely effects they will achieve will most probably look as follows: further production, export and illegal trafficking of opiates. Also, there will apparently be a great demand for this military hardware on the black market. The new authorities will face a great temptation to make money on it," said Kabulov. 

The special envoy proposed measures to prevent the economic crisis in Afghanistan and the collapse of the national currency.

"We need to unfreeze the Afghan government's holdings in the United States. This is not necessary to transfer money to the Taliban authorities. In no case. These funds are needed to support the collapsing national currency," he said.

State media outlet Vesti reported that Kabulov told Russia 24 of Moscow "actively forging ties" with the Taliban even though the movement is banned in the Russian Federation.

"We are already establishing, our embassy is working quite actively in Kabul. We have established such contacts for a long time, and we will establish them," said Kabulov. 

He said that Russia will continue to take part in projects devoted to restoring Afghanistan's economy, and is ready to get down to work immediately.

Also Read: Unsure China seeks US help to 'guide' Taliban in Afghanistan