10 Sep 2021 13:38

Russia not to attend inauguration of Taliban govt in Afghanistan - Peskov

MOSCOW. Sept 10 (Interfax) - Russia will not attend the inauguration of the new Afghan government formed by the Taliban (banned in Russia), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Journalists asked Peskov on Friday whether he could confirm Russia's plans to participate in the ceremony.

"No. I cannot. Russia will take no part in it," Peskov said.

Speaking of the victory of the new regime in Afghanistan, journalists asked Peskov whether he believes that the Taliban's ascent to power is a loss for Russia.

"None of us has won, to say the least. The main question now is whether Afghanistan will remain a key source of the drug threat, the main country supplying huge quantities of opiates to the world and, most importantly, to our country. Will Afghanistan remain a place where terrorist groups feel at ease? All these threats persist, so, obviously, none of us has won," Peskov said.

As to whether Russia "is ready to fight international terrorism" if the terrorist threat spills out of Afghanistan, Peskov said, "Russia is constantly fighting international terrorism."

Journalists also asked whether the Kremlin believes that the Taliban's ascent to power has worsened the situation in Afghanistan. "We don't know how the situation might develop. This is why we keep saying it's important to us to understand what the first and subsequent steps of the incumbent Afghan leadership will be," Peskov said.