The Russian Foreign Ministry declared last Monday (1st) that, together with the Ministry of Justice and other competent bodies, it is “working on the issue” of removing the Taliban group from the list of terrorist organizations.

According to the ministry, the final decision will be taken by the country’s main political leadership, President Putin.

Earlier, the Russian President’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov reported that the Taliban were invited to the “Russia-Islamic World” forum, which will be held from May 14 to 19 in the Russian city of Kazan.

The Taliban movement has been classified as a terrorist organization in Russia since 2003, when it followed the same decision adopted by the UN Security Council.

In August 2021, the Taliban resumed power in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the US military occupation of the country and the flight of former president Ashraf Ghani to the United Arab Emirates. The fundamentalist group had governed Afghanistan between 1995 and 2001, when it imposed a radical vision of Sharia (Islamic law that serves as a guideline for the lives of faithful Sunni Muslims).

Among the measures adopted by the regime, women are required to cover their entire bodies with burkas and cannot study, work or travel unaccompanied by men. Music, TV or non-religious cultural activities were prohibited. Isolated, the regime fell for refusing to hand over to the United States the head of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, accused of the attacks against American targets on September 11, 2001.

The group had been born out of resistance to the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. In October 2021, Vladimir Putin said that Russia was “closer to making a decision” to remove the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations, but this decision would again have to be taken at the UN. At the time, Putin noted that Russia “cooperates with representatives of the Taliban, invites them to visit Moscow and maintains contact with them in Afghanistan itself.”

In recent years, Taliban representatives have made regular visits to Moscow in October and then visited Russia several more times in 2022 and 2023.

This Tuesday (2), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared that it will only be possible to talk about the possibility of excluding the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations after this issue has been studied.

“We will wait for the study to be completed and then we will talk about the positioning,” the spokesperson told journalists.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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