Taliban* spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid gave an extensive interview to Russian media. In the interview, he spoke in detail not only about the current situation in Afghanistan, but also about the plans of the Taliban* movement, as the current government, to develop relations with other countries of the world, including with Russia.
Are there any positive sides in cooperation with the Taliban*? What will Russia do if our neighbours in Asia start letting in refugees from Afghanistan? No one can tell who will come with them and what intentions they may have. Is it worth "opening up" to the new Afghanistan?
Pravda.Ru asked these questions to military political scientist, associate professor of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Alexander Perendzhiev.
"Russia will have to look into the internal structure of the Taliban. It can be roughly divided into two parts: moderate and radical. I think there are not so many radicals there. Yet, there is another thorn in the side: the US military occupation of Afghanistan has led to the creation of the so-called Afghan ISIS*. And it hasn't gone anywhere now that the US military have left Afghanistan. Many ISIS* fighters have moved from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan. If these cells don't attack our borders, they will still end up fighting the moderate Taliban*.
They will start fighting for power anyway - it is only a matter of time. Russia will have to take care of its borders in Asia, of course.
"What is the West going to do? If the Taliban* is partly an anti-NATO project, will the collective West cling to Afghanistan? London, for example, is already working on its own resistance to the Taliban* and tries to keep the Kabul airport in operation after 31 August. The United States has left, but the UK is not going to follow the Americans. What is NATO going to do there?"
"They will try to look for anti-Taliban* forces inside Afghanistan. They expected the Taliban* to become a pro-Western project. It turned out to be a pro-Pakistani, and, most likely, a pro-Chinese one, albeit in a veiled form.
The West is a little perplexed now. Representatives of the Foreign Ministry of the European Union said that they would now have to counter Russia and China in Afghanistan.
"Do you think that there will be sanctions coming for Afghanistan?"
"Boris Johnson said that they would wait and see what the Taliban* will be like. When they have an idea, they will decide on the sanctions."
"While they are working on a roadmap, Russia is working on a strategy of action."
"Indeed. It appears that the SCO countries will end up in Afghanistan, making the country become an industrial and agrarian country. Most importantly, one needs to help Afghanistan get rid of its drug addiction, so to speak. The Taliban* has already asked for help at this point."
"The Taliban* have opponents in Afghanistan, in the Panjshir Gorge. What kind of force are they and to what extent are they capable of influencing the state of affairs in the country?"
"I think that they will bring no peace at all - they will work to incite interethnic strife in Afghanistan anyway."
"The Global Times, a Chinese publication, wrote that the Americans will still try to keep the war going not to let Afghanistan become a stable state."
"Exactly. The question is whether Russia should act as a platform for negotiations between those forces. I tend to believe that Russia will eventually become such a platform, but one should not hurry here at all."
*terrorist organisations banned in the Russian Federation.