29 Jun 2020 14:21

Reports Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan lies - Peskov

MOSCOW. June 29 (Interfax) - Reports that the Russian special services offered cash rewards to members of the Taliban extremist movement (banned in Russia) to attack U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan are not true, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"These claims are lies," Peskov told reporters.

"If in the United States of America, the special services are continuing to report to the president, then I suggest that one be guided by the relevant statement of President [Donald] Trump, who has already given his assessment of these reports," he said.

Peskov expressed regret that "some of the largest, once respected, and top-class global media outlets haven't shunned publishing such absolutely fake stories in recent years, which doesn't contribute to their good reputations or prestige," Peskov said.

The New York Times earlier published an article in which it reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that Russian military intelligence offered cash rewards to Taliban militants to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan. According to the newspaper, this happened at the height of talks on peacefully settling the Afghan conflict.

The authors of the article claim that President Trump was briefed on these intelligence conclusions back in March 2020, but he has yet to decide how to respond. The Washington Post has published similar information. According to the newspaper's information, several U.S. servicemen died as a result.

Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that "nobody briefed or told me, Vice President Mike Pence, or Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an 'anonymous source' by the Fake News The New York Times."