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Russia will recognise Taliban only if it forms an inclusive government

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia is in no hurry to recognise a Taliban-led regime, and will do so only if the group passes the litmus test of including all ethnic minorities of Afghanistan  in governance. 

Moscow will consider recognizing Afghanistan’s new authorities once an inclusive government is formed in the country, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"We call for the establishment of an inclusive coalition government in Afghanistan that would involve all of the country’s ethnic and political forces, including ethnic minorities, so the question of recognizing the country’s authorities will rise after the process is over," she pointed out, as reported by Tass news agency.

The foreign ministry official made two additional points. First, Russia has noted the Taliban’s willingness to engage with foreign governments.

Also read:  Putin says USA’s 20-year war in Afghanistan achieved nothing but tragedy and loss of lives

"We note the statement made by the Taliban’s senior official Shahabuddin Delawar, in which he called on the foreign countries that hastily aborted their diplomatic missions to resume their work. This message demonstrates the Taliban leadership’s readiness to develop ties with the international community," the spokeswoman said.

Second, the Russian have slammed  the “spontaneous operation” of Western countries to hastily depart from Afghanistan.  "It is Western countries that made a decision on the form of their presence [in Afghanistan] but they failed to do it based on a mandate issued by the United Nations Security Council, as well as to present reports to the UN Security Council and the international community. So, it is these countries that bear the primary responsibility for this step and everything that Afghanistan and the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) have inherited," Zakharova said.

Russia views the departure of US forces from Afghanistan, known as the “graveyard of empires,” as part of a “new historical era”.

Moscow too had to retreat from Afghanistan in the late eighties following a 10-year insurgency aided by the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia among others.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the US military’s 20-year campaign in Afghanistan had achieved nothing but tragedy and loss of life on all sides.

"U.S. forces were present on this territory for 20 years and for 20 years tried … to civilise the people who live there, to instil their own norms and standards of life in the widest possible sense of this word, including when it comes to the political organisation of society," said Putin.

"The result is only tragedies and losses of life for those who did it, the United States, and even more so for those people who live on the territory of Afghanistan. The result is zero, if not a negative one all round."