Russia offers its services for evacuation of people from Afghanistan

by Sami Burgaz
‘Taliban coming to power a reality world should take into account when building ties with Afghanistan,’ says Foreign Ministry.

MOSCOW (AA) – Russia is ready to provide its civil aviation services for evacuation of any number of Afghan citizens, including women and children, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The evacuating flights can be organized to any foreign countries that will be ready to receive and accommodate the Afghans, Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news conference in Moscow.

“In order to prevent the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, we are ready to provide Russian civil aviation services to ensure the flight of any number of Afghan citizens, including women and children, to any foreign countries, who will show interest in their reception and placement,” she said.

She added the Russian authorities are organizing charter flights for the Russian citizens, willing to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the rule in the country.

According to Zakharova, representatives of the Taliban gave the Russian side “appropriate security guarantees” that there will be no obstacles for such flights.

Zakharova addressed the Taliban as “the new Afghan authorities,” saying “their coming to power in Kabul is a reality that the world community should take into account when building further relations with Afghanistan.”

She also put responsibility for what happened in the country on former President Ashraf Ghani, saying: “Over the past three years, he has had every opportunity to ensure the success of the inter-Afghan peace process and to promote the smooth formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and political forces of the country, but this chance was missed.”

Zakharova denied Russia is positive about the Taliban taking over, however, she welcomed some of their steps, including declaration about the necessity to launch a peace process, amnesty to former officials, restoring the order in the seized cities and provinces.

The Taliban confirmed their peace plans and guarantees for the safety of the Russian diplomatic mission in Kabul at a meeting with Russian Ambassador Dmitry Zhirkov, she said.

After capturing many key strategic provincial capitals in recent days, forcing the government forces to surrender or flee, the Taliban fighters on Sunday reached the capital city.

Ashraf Ghani fled the country along with his close aides.

Following the departure of Ghani, former President Hamid Karzai, veteran politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and top peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah formed a council to ensure a smooth transfer of power.


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