Russia to remove Taliban from the list of terrorist groups in light of objective reality

Russia invites Taliban to economic forum to exclude it from terrorist groups

Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice of Russia informed President Vladimir Putin that the Taliban (a terrorist organisation banned in the Russian Federation) could be excluded from the list of banned organisations.

"[Removing the Taliban from the banned list] is mandatory. Without this, it will be premature to talk about [Russian recognition of the new Afghan authorities]. Therefore, this issue continues to be analysed. All considerations have been reported to the top leadership of Russia," Zamir Kabulov, Special Representative of the Russian President for Afghanistan said. 

The diplomat noted that the position was agreed upon with other departments. Russia's recognition of the Taliban government has become much closer today than at the time when they came to power in Afghanistan in 2021.

Russia invites Taliban to SPIEF

The same day, the Russian authorities invited the Taliban to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). 

“Traditionally, the Afghans are interested in continuing cooperation on the purchase of petroleum products in Russia and other goods of high demand. Of course, in the future it will be possible to talk about transit capabilities of Afghanistan to expand trade turnover with the vast region,” he noted.

In May, Kabulov indicated that Russia no longer saw the Taliban as enemies. Although representatives of the movement are not “Russia’s number one friends,” but they have confidence in Russia and perceive the country as the legal successor of the USSR.

The exclusion of the Taliban from the list of terrorists reflects objective reality, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, TASS reports.

“They are the real power. We are not indifferent to Afghanistan. Our allies, especially in Central Asia, are not indifferent to it either. So this process reflects an awareness of reality,” the diplomat said.

The Taliban could be excluded from the list of banned organisations in Russia if the Supreme Court of Russia could approve of such a move. There was no previous precedent for lifting the status of a terrorist organisation, lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky noted.

The Taliban was declared terrorist in accordance with a lawsuit filed by the Prosecutor General's Office in the Supreme Court. Therefore, it is only a new lawsuit from the same body in the same court that could revoke the earlier made decision. The new lawsuit could be filed based on “newly discovered circumstances.”

The Taliban can be removed from the list of terrorists within one to two months, RTVI reports.

In 2023, the government of Kazakhstan removed the Taliban from the list of banned organisations as well. According to the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic, Aibek Smadiyarov, Kazakhstan regularly audits the national list of prohibited terrorist organisations in order to update it.

The UN Security Council listed the Taliban as a terrorist organisation in 2003. At the same time, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognised the Taliban as a terrorist organization. In May 2021, after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the movement began an offensive on major cities in the country. Talibs entered Kabul in August and announcing the end of hostilities. In September of the same year, the provisional government was established, the legitimacy of which had not yet been recognised.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov