Taliban militant group denies receiving weapons from Russia

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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Moscow renders no support to the Taliban militant group (outlawed in Russia), spokesman for the group’s Doha office Mohammad Suhail Shahin said on the sidelines of the second meeting of the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan on Friday.

“That’s not true,” he said, commenting on US officials’ allegations that Russia supports the Taliban with arms supplies.

Then-Commander of the US Forces in Afghanistan John Nicholson alleged in an interview with the BBC on March 23 that Russia provided “some degree of support” to the Taliban.

Lieutenant-General Austin Scott Miller who replaced Nicholson as the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan in early September claimed in June that Russia and Iran were assisting the Taliban. Russia has repeatedly rejected these insinuations, saying that Washington had failed to provide any proofs.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in July that Russia was maintaining contacts with the Taliban only for ensuring security for Russians and contributing to the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

By decision of Russia’s Supreme Court of February 14, 2003, the Taliban movement was recognized as a terrorist organization banned in Russia.

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