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Russia blames US failure for Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov (Photo Credit: AP)

Russia has taken the United States to task over the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban’s takeover of the country stems from America’s failure two decades after the invasion.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the Taliban's seizure of Afghanistan should not be considered a transition.

“The authors of such stories are trying in some way to justify the failure of the Americans in Afghanistan and to claim this was all a planned action,” Zamir Kabulov, special presidential representative for Afghanistan, said on Monday.

He said the fall of Kabul was unexpected, and that Russia and other countries overestimated the Afghan armed forces.

“It came as a surprise to a certain extent, as we were guided by the understanding that the Afghan Army, whatever it may be, will still resist for some time,” Kabulov told the Echo of Moscow radio station.

Kabulov also confirmed that Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov will discuss the safety of the Russian diplomatic mission with a Taliban coordinator in Kabul on Tuesday.

“Our ambassador is in contact with the Taliban leadership, tomorrow he will meet with the Taliban security coordinator,” he said, adding that the talks between the sides would focus on how the militant group plans to provide security for the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital.

According to the Russian foreign ministry, Taliban forces have already secured the outer perimeter of the Russian embassy, but some “part” of embassy staffers will be “evacuated.”

Kabulov asserted that Moscow will decide whether to recognize a Taliban government based on its “conduct,” and that decision in that regard would not be hasty.

"We will carefully see how responsibly they govern the country in the near future. And based on the results, the Russian leadership will draw the necessary conclusions," he said.

The removal of the Taliban from a list of terrorist organizations was out of the question at this point, the foreign ministry noted, saying the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will initiate related proceedings.

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also blamed the United States for the situation in Afghanistan. 

“The world is watching with horror the result of another historical experiment in Washington,” Zakharova wrote in her Telegram channel on Sunday.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan removed the Taliban from power 20 years ago, but it worsened the security situation in the country.

The militants intensified their offensive and rapidly overran major cities after US President Joe Biden ordered a hasty withdrawal of American forces from the war-ravaged country by September 1. 

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