“We do not have any hidden agenda in Afghanistan; similarly, we do not have the will to compete with the United States in Afghanistan,” Mantytskiy said
Moscow Not About To Challenge U.S In Afghanistan: Envoy
The Russian Ambassador to Kabul Alexander Mantytskiy said on Wednesday at a press conference in Kabul that Moscow is not interested in challenging the United States and NATO in Afghanistan nor is it following a hidden agenda regarding the country.
“We do not have any hidden agenda in Afghanistan; similarly, we do not have the will to compete with the United States in Afghanistan,” Mantytskiy told the press conference.
The Russian envoy defended his country’s stance regarding Moscow’s contact with the Taliban and said their aim is to help ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Mantytskiy did however raise the issue of the U.S bombing Achin in Nangarhar last week.
“The main question is whether the military goal, based on which the bomb was dropped, has been attained or not. But in general, Russia is fighting against Daesh like the United States. We are cooperating with the U.S in this combat in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan,” he said.
His comments did however mainly focus on Moscow’s reaction to allegations of Russia’s political and arms support to the Taliban.
“As far as I know, the Taliban is a force, a force which everyone wants to negotiate with. We cannot ignore them when negotiations are considered with them. Tadamichi [Yamamoto] UNAMA’s secretary general told the United Nations Security Council in March that the Taliban is a political force and they should join the negotiations table,” he stated.
The Russian ambassador meanwhile pointed out that it was not only Russia that had been in contact with the Taliban but said some western countries had spoken with the group, including the U.S.