Russia rules out military technical cooperation with Taliban

It is a prohibited movement, says official

August 25, 2021 09:56 pm | Updated 10:03 pm IST - MOSCOW

The Taliban movement is prohibited in Russia and so they will not have any military technical cooperation with such a movement, said Dmitry Shugaev, Director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation of Russia.

Russia supplied Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan in the past but the contract was with the U.S. and they did not service the helicopters. They were serviced by European enterprises without our consent, Mr. Shugaev said.

“We bear no responsibility for these aircraft. We will not take them back from Afghanistan and we will not even try doing this because the Taliban movement is a prohibited movement in Russia. And we have no military technical cooperation with such a movement,” he told a group of visiting journalists at the ongoing Army 2021 exhibition.

Referring to the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Mr. Shugaev said “what sort of partner is the U.S. is seen in Afghanistan. This is an example of how cooperation with the U.S. can unfold”.

Large number of arms and ammunition

Expressing concern at the large number of arms and ammunition left behind by the U.S. and now in the hands of the Taliban, he said: “American forces while leaving have left a lot of military equipment and now it can be in any part of the world.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday discussed charting out a ‘coordinated’ strategy in Afghanistan, while the National Security Advisors from the five BRICS countries had met virtually to discuss the developments with a focus on combating terrorism.

Mr. Modi and Mr. Putin also agreed to set up a “permanent bilateral channel” on the issues arising from the Taliban takeover.

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