Taliban to strike energy deals with Russia

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The trade between Russia and Afghanistan faced blows as the duo are under sanctions…reports Asian Lite News

As the world witnesses a catastrophic energy crisis with the ongoing war in Ukraine, Talibani officials said that they are close to striking a deal with Moscow over the import of Russian oil and gas, media reports said.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a newsletter published on Friday, August 26, that their delegation’s visit to Moscow included talks about attracting Russian investors to Afghanistan and reaching an agreement for the purchase of oil and gas from Russia, reported Khaama Press.

This comes as Russian and Afghan banks are under sanctions from western nations. In view of this situation, Nooruddin Azizi, the Taliban’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, has stated that it is likely that the payments will go through a third country. However, he refrained to comment whether as to which country will facilitate the deal.

Moreover, as per the Talibani Minister, Azizi, who was quoted in the newsletter, the technical elements of the agreement have not yet been finalized and a team is still in Moscow to finalize them.

The trade between Russia and Afghanistan faced blows as the duo are under sanctions. The process of transporting oil from Moscow to Kabul has proven to be rather difficult, as per the media portal.

According to reports, Russia and Afghanistan already trade a total of roughly USD 200 million in goods annually. Afghanistan already imports most of its food and oil from Russia.

The agreement was reached at a time when tensions are high; the West is looking for alternate sources of energy to Russian gas to avert a severe energy shortage when international sanctions are in place for both the Taliban and Russia.

Earlier, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov met Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country is worried about the spread of terrorism from central Asian countries, reported The Khaama Press.

“Plans and programs of Islamic State (ISIS) and their supporters to destabilize central Asian countries and then Russia is quite concerning. Formation of Ansarullah Fraction and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan on border sides of Afghanistan and Tajikistan are signs of threat,” said Lavrov.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan has not made comments about the issue yet. (ANI)

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