The top U.S. general in Europe on Thursday said that Russia influence on Taliban has increased and possibly Moscow was helping supply the militants in Afghanistan, a claim Russia called it baseless and “absolutely false”.
“I have seen the influence of Russia of late – increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban,” U.S. Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, told a Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing Session.
Apparently, the U.S.-Russia proxy war in Iraq and Syria is expected to widen into Afghanistan.
The Afghan Defense Ministry says boosting insurgency will destabilize Russia and Central Asian countries as well.
“If terrorism make a stronghold in Afghanistan, Russia, Iran and other Central Asian countries won’t be safe,” said Dawlat Waziri spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense,” therefore, Russia and Iran is better to cooperate with the government of Afghanistan.”
U.S. officials believe that Moscow is supporting Taliban in Afghanistan to undermine U.S.-led NATO efforts in the country.
On Friday, Russia reacted to the claim and said the allegation by a U.S. general was absolutely false.
“These claims are absolutely false,” Zamir Kabulov, the Kremlin’s Special Envoy in Afghanistan said,” these fabrications are designed, as we have repeatedly underlined, to justify the failure of the U.S. military and politicians in the Afghan campaign. There is no other explanation.”
At the same time, a Taliban official have told Reuters news agency that the group has had significant contacts with Moscow since at least 2007, adding that Russian involvement did not extend beyond “moral and political support”.
The allegations come as Russia is expected to held the third round of talks on Afghanistan in the next month in Moscow where representative from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India and some other regional countries will participate.
Reported by: Qayam Noori & Hesamuddin Hesam