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Russia: We will study Taliban's actions before making decision on recognizing them

In this file photo taken on August 23, 2021, Taliban militants in a vehicle patrol the streets of the capital, Kabul. (By AFP)

The Kremlin says Russia has conditioned the recognition of the Taliban on how the group treats the Afghan population and Russian diplomats following the militants’ shock seizure of the country.

"We think that the Taliban's dominance, the de facto rise to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan and them taking most of the country under their control is de facto an accomplished process," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a briefing on Thursday.

Peskov said Moscow has yet to determine its position towards the Taliban and was waiting to see how the group’s leadership would bring about security for the Afghan people and Russian diplomats in the country.

The Kremlin spokesman added that Moscow was interested in peace and stability in Afghanistan and would likely continue contacts with Washington on the ongoing developments in the war-torn country.

"The situation certainly requires exchange of opinions, [and] exchange of information; so, of course, it is highly likely that such contacts will continue," Peskov said.

Four Russian military planes evacuated Russian and other nationals from Kabul on Wednesday on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, as Moscow held military exercises involving its tank forces in neighboring Tajikistan.

The Russian president had previously warned against letting "terrorists" sneak into neighboring countries from Afghanistan, including "under the guise of refugees."

Russia has also announced its opposition to plans by the United States to deploy troops to the Central Asia region following the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow did not want to see American troops in the Central Asian countries and to the south of Russia's border as the measure would make the region a target for militant attacks.

Lavrov said he doubted whether any of the countries in the region was willing “to help the US satisfy its initiatives.”

Russia to supply weapons to Afghanistan's neighbors

In another development on Thursday, the top Russian state-run arms company announced that it had received new orders for arms and helicopters from Central Asian republics bordering Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover of the country.

Alexander Mikheev, the head of arms exporter Rosoboronexport, said the orders come as countries in the ex-Soviet region, where Moscow holds military bases, have raised concerns over the militant group's sweeping to power.

"We are already working on a number of orders from countries in the region for the supply of Russian helicopters, firearms and modern border protection systems," Mikheev told the Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan earlier this month held joint military exercises with Russia close to their borders with Afghanistan.

Drills involving members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance led by Moscow, are also scheduled in Kyrgyzstan from September 7 to 9.

The maneuvers, as Interfax news agency reported, will focus on "the destruction of illegal armed groups that have invaded the territory of an CSTO member state."

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