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As Taliban replace guards at Russian Embassy in Kabul, Moscow says it will not revoke group's status as terrorist organization

As Taliban replace guards at Russian Embassy in Kabul, Moscow says it will not revoke group's status as terrorist organization
Russia has no plans to remove the Taliban’s status as a banned terrorist organization, despite the fact that the movement is now de-facto ruling a country, Moscow’s special presidential representative for Afghanistan has said.

Speaking to online publication Podyem, Zamir Kabulov explained that Moscow’s decisions are guided by the UN Security Council. The Taliban was declared by the Russian Supreme Court to be a terrorist organization on February 14, 2003, and its activities are outlawed nationwide. Other groups with the same classification include Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

"For this status to change, the UN Security Council must adopt another resolution,” Kabulov explained, noting a new decree would have to be made for any change to be enacted in Russia.

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“Russia, more than anyone else, has always been a great believer in the observance of international law and the UN Charter. We are not going to violate established rules and order,” he explained.

Earlier on Monday, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan revealed that the Taliban had taken over defense of the embassy after the Afghan National Security Forces surrendered. Dmitry Zhirnov met with representatives of the terrorist organisation who promised that Russian diplomats would be left to work in safety, he said.

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The situation in Afghanistan has intensified in recent weeks, following the US decision to withdraw its troops from the country. On Sunday, militants from the Taliban entered the Afghan capital of Kabul and declared that they had taken control of the entire nation, including all its major cities and border checkpoints. On the same day, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Ghani became President of Afghanistan in September 2014, marking the first time in the country’s history that power was democratically transferred. Since his election, Ghani has enjoyed a close relationship with the US, which has pumped almost a trillion dollars into the country. According to a 2019 study by Brown University, Washington has spent around $978 billion in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001.

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