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Russia retains considerable influence on Taliban — Russian envoy (TASS)

Russia’s influence on the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) in Afghanistan remains considerable, Russia’s special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, director of the Foreign Ministry’s second Asian department, Zamir Kabulov, said at a meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ presidium on Tuesday.

“Yes, [the influence remains considerable],” he said in reply to a corresponding question. “The Taliban look at Russia with respect, not as a large country, but as an influential member of the international community. They do bear in mind Russia’s influence of a global power, capable of balancing the exorbitant ambitions of other global superpowers.”

Kabulov stressed that the Afghans were grateful people.

“They will never forget that we made a balanced and fair assessment of that movement, when it was in military and political opposition,” he said.