Moscow and Washington "have no serious differences in opinions" about post-conflict settlement in Afghanistan and formation of the country's future government, US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow told a Friday press conference in Moscow. According to the ambassador, both Moscow and Washington believe that Afghanistan needs a wide-based coalition government uniting representatives of every ethnic group in the country. What with Pashtuns being Afghanistan's most numerous people, they must naturally become part of the new government, said Vershbow. At the same time, he pointed out that Washington agrees with Russia's position that the possibility of Taliban movement representatives joining the future government is "absolutely out of the question." "The fact that Taliban leaders sheltered and supported Osama bin Laden makes their membership in the future government 100% impossible," stressed the ambassador, who nevertheless does not rule out that "private persons and the Taliban movement" might be allowed to join the future government.
Putin's Annual Address to the Federal Assembly is scheduled for September 30. Kremlin sources say it will become even more historic and globally important than his 2014 speech