Russia calls Pindosi charge it may be supplying Taliban ‘a lie’: RIA
Katya Golubkova, Reuters, Mar 24 2017
Russia dismissed a Pindo allegation it may be supplying Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan as “a lie” on Friday, saying the charge was an attempt by Faschingstein to try to cover up for the failure of its own policies there, RIA reported. The top Pindo general in Europe said on Thursday that he had seen Russian influence on Afghan Taliban insurgents growing and raised the possibility that Moscow was helping supply the militants, whose reach is expanding in southern Afghanistan. RIA attributed the denial to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Russia may be helping supply Taliban insurgents: SACEUR
Phil Stewart, Idris Ali, Mar 24 2017
FASCHINGSTEIN – The top Pindo general in Europe said on Thursday that he had seen Russian influence on Afghan Taliban insurgents growing and raised the possibility that Moscow was helping supply the militants, whose reach is expanding in southern Afghanistan. Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing:
I’ve seen the influence of Russia of late: increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban.
He did not elaborate on what kinds of supplies might be headed to the Taliban or how direct Russia’s role might be. Russian officials have denied they provide aid to the insurgents, and say their limited contacts are aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. The top Pindo commander in the country, Gen J Nicholson, said last month that Afghanistan was in a “stalemate” and that thousands more international troops would be needed to boost the existing NATO-led training and advisory mission (once ISAF – RB). Scaparrotti said:
NATO and Pindostan, in my view, must win in Afghanistan. More than 1,800 Pindo grunts have died here since the war began in 2001. The stakes are high.
Taliban officials have told Reuters that the group has had significant contacts with Moscow since at least 2007, but that Russian involvement did not extend beyond “moral and political support.”