Russia is ready to be flexible on issue of lifting sanctions from Taliban

'We are ready to be flexible on this issue,' Zamir Kabulov said

Russia is ready to discuss the issue of lifting sanctions from the Taliban, but this issue is currently not on the agenda in the UN Security Council, Zamir Kabulov, Russian presidential envoy on Afghanistan and director of the Second Department for Asia of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said.

The Western media earlier reported, citing an unnamed Taliban leader, that the Taliban is ready to resume negotiations with Kabul if it is removed from the international list of terrorist organizations.

"We are ready to be flexible on this issue," Kabulov told Interfax, responding to a question about Moscow's position on the matter.

"However, our flexibility will depend on how flexible they will be and whether they will be ready to go from fighting to political campaigning," he said.

Nevertheless, the diplomat said this issue "is currently not on the agenda of the UN Security Council."

Kabulov also confirmed Moscow's position that in order for the debate on the removal of the Taliban from the UN sanctions list the Taliban needs to "lay down their weapons, fully disassociate themselves from al Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution."

"It's impossible in the very near future, we will look at the Taliban's deeds. If we see that they are moving in the direction of peace, and we currently don't see that, then we will discuss it. It's not a taboo," Kabulov said.

He said that "we still have a long way to go on all these issues."

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