The US has yet to provide evidence of accusations against Russia of connection to the radical Taliban movement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"I can only confirm that all this is based on very unfair speculation. No specific facts were provided. Moreover, senior administration officials, including the Minister of Defense, stated that they were not aware of such facts. All this is again written in, as if everything was created specifically for this purpose, and apparently it is, in the internal political struggle on the eve of elections," the Minister said at the online session of the international forum "Primakov readings - 2020" "Russia and the post-Soviet world".
"We are interested in both Russia and the United States in Afghanistan to learn from the experience that has been accumulated in this long-suffering country, and together with other states that can help calm the situation, first of all with China, Iran, Pakistan, and all other neighbors of Afghanistan, to help them start a national dialogue. We are actively engaged in this," Lavrov said.
The American newspaper New York Times on June 26 published an article claiming that a certain unit of Russian military intelligence encouraged the Taliban to attack soldiers of the international coalition in Afghanistan for a fee. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the publication of the New York Times, expressed regret that once the largest and most respected world media didn't shun such "hoaxes". He added that the claim of "collusion" was false.
The Russian Embassy in the United States demanded that the country's authorities respond adequately to threats that come to diplomats because of news about Russia and Afghanistan. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the media reports fake. President of the United States Donald Trump called the article "ordered fudge". The White House, the Pentagon and the US intelligence said that there was no confirmation of the reports at the moment and that Trump was not informed about them.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry
Based on materials from RIA Novosti