1. Home
  2. English
  3. Business
  4. Full circle: Now Russia invites the Taliban to St. Petersberg economic forum
Full circle: Now Russia invites the Taliban to St. Petersberg economic forum

Full circle: Now Russia invites the Taliban to St. Petersberg economic forum

Social Share

Virendra Pandit
New Delhi: In the 1980s-90s, the US-aided Islamist fundamentalist groups had created the Taliban militia to evict the Soviet occupation forces from Afghanistan. Four decades on, Russia has invited the same Taliban to join an economic meeting in St. Petersberg next month.

Since the Taliban seized power again in Kabul in August 2021 in the wake of the US-led forces withdrawing after 20 years of inconclusive war, Russia has been slowly building ties with the Taliban, though the militia is still officially outlawed in Moscow, the media reported on Monday.

Now Russia has invited Afghanistan’s Taliban to its biggest annual economic forum as Moscow moves to remove a ban on the Islamist movement, a senior Russian diplomat was quoted as saying.

Russia’s foreign and justice ministries have reported to President Vladimir Putin on the issue of removing the ban, Zamir Kabulov, Director of the Second Asia Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, told state news agency TASS.

He said that an invitation to attend the June 5-8 St Petersburg International Economic Forum had been extended to the Taliban. Afghan leaders, he said, were traditionally interested in the purchase of oil products.

The St Petersburg Forum, which once hosted Western CEOs and investment bankers from London and New York, has changed significantly amid the ongoing Ukraine war, which has triggered the biggest crisis in Russia’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Western investors seeking a slice of Russia’s vast natural resource wealth have now been replaced by businesses from China, India, Africa, and the Middle East.

The Taliban, which means “students” in the Pashto language, emerged in 1994 around the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. It was one of the factions fighting a civil war for control of the landlocked, mountainous country following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and the subsequent collapse of the Communist government in Kabul.

It originally drew members from so-called “mujahideen” fighters who, with support from the United States, repelled Soviet forces in the 1980s.

In 2003, Russia formally labeled the Taliban a terrorist organization, though it had periodic informal contacts with the Islamist movement.


Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code