Russian envoy says no direct threat to Russia from Taliban in Afghanistan

Russian ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said Monday that there is no direct threat to Russia from the Taliban activities in Afghanistan, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

“There is no immediate direct threat [to Russia] from the Taliban,” Dmitry told Rossiya-24 television channel when he was asked whether the Taliban’s activities could threaten Russia directly.

Tass also reported that according to Zhirnov, the Taliban is not strong enough to seize Kabul and other big cities in the country.

In his words, the situation in Kabul is quite tense. “There is an increased terrorist threat here, and it is clear that this is the capital city of a country in a state of war. Nevertheless, no serious changes for the worse have been observed in Kabul since May,” Zhirnov said.

“Russia’s, US’, China’s and Pakistan’s representatives are working on the settlement of the situation in that country via the Extended Troika mechanism,” he said adding that “we are pursuing a policy to push the conflicting parties to result-oriented talks that would put an end to the civil war.”

His comments come after at least 17 Afghan forces fled to Tajikistan on Sunday after a group of Taliban launched an attack on a border checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Kaldar district in Balkh province, Tajikistan’s state news agency reported.

The forces entered Tajikistan through its Shahrtuz border outpost. The Shahrtuz district is in the very southwestern corner of the country, where the border intersects with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.