10 Sep 2021 20:55

Russia did not refuse to attend Afghan govt inauguration; ambassador's presence would suffice - Lavrov

SOCHI. Sept 10 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has never recommended that the leadership should send a delegation from Moscow to the inauguration of the new government of Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

"They change their plans daily, including in terms of inclusivity of the political process. They announced a government that consists 100 per cent of the Taliban [banned in Russia] and later they said that there would soon be a transitional, inclusive government," Lavrov said at a modern journalism forum entitled All of Russia-2021.

"They announced this inauguration, then they were revising these plans. We were never going to recommend that our leadership be represented by a Moscow delegation at the inauguration there. From the start we were working on a premise that ambassador was a level good enough to represent us there, given a specific development of the situation," Lavrov said.

Asked whether Russia refused to attend the ceremony, Lavrov said: "No, we didn't. (...) No one did. This is a completely obvious problem which consists in them themselves still being confused about what to do as a matter of priority."