Moscow rejects US charges that Russia supplying arms to Afghan Taliban as ‘groundless’

BISHKEK (TCA) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on April 25 that a U.S. allegation that Moscow is supplying arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan was unsubstantiated, RFE/RL reported.


On April 24, a senior U.S. military official in Kabul, briefing journalists on condition of anonymity, said Russia was giving machine guns and other medium-weight weapons to the Taliban for use in the southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, and Uruzgan.

“These are unprofessional and groundless remarks,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow. U.S. intelligence officials “know very well that these claims are false,” he said. “No one has provided a single fact” to confirm such charges.

Lavrov said Russia’s stance is that the Taliban should take part in peace negotiations in Afghanistan.

“We are in favor of only one simple thing – we want the Taliban to join the national dialogue on the basis of the criteria endorsed by the UN Security Council at the Afghan government’s request,” he said.

But for this to happen, the Taliban must “stop violence, break with terrorism, and respect the constitution,” Lavrov said.

In the meantime, during his meeting with ex-Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Moscow on April 25, Lavrov said that there are geopolitical games around Afghanistan, Sputnik news agency reported.

“Unfortunately, geopolitical games are unfolding around Afghanistan, which have nothing to do with concern for the destiny of the Afghan people,” Lavrov said.

He added that there are attempts to use Russophobic tendencies in those games.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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