President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said at a news conference he did not want “militants showing up here under cover of refugees” rejecting also the idea of sending people evacuation from Afghanistan to countries near Russia. He criticised an idea of some Western countries to relocate refugees from Afghanistan to neighbouring Central Asian countries while their visas to the United States and Europe are being processed, as The United States held secret talks with a number of countries. Moscow praised the Taliban for restoring order following its takeover of the country. Russian officials have not joined in the effort to evacuate thousands of desperate Afghans at Kabul Airport seeking to flee the country.
On the other part, the Taliban has sought Russia’s help to mediate with pro-government holdout. It seems Russia changed now its role in Afghanistan, becoming proactive. Moscow has not yet recognised the Taliban government. It has not yet removed the Taliban from the list of banned organisations. But the new Russian formulation of describing the Taliban has changed from “terrorist” to “radical.” Even if we want or not to consider it, Afghanistan remains the center of the power tussle of the big players in geo-politics.