Russia is reportedly preparing to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.  Experts note that recognition by the Russian government of the Taliban regime is important for maintaining its positions in this important geostrategic region; for this, Moscow is ready to close its eyes to all the horrors that are happening inside Afghanistan., citing the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reported on April 1 that the country’s relevant ministries and agencies are considering the issue of removing the status of a terrorist organization from the Taliban Movement.  “The final decision on this issue be made by the top leadership of the country,” representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was cited as saying.    

The Special Representative of the Russian President for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, noted on April 1 that the a delegation of the Taliban Movement has been invited to participate in in a forum entitled “Russia – Islamic World” that will take place in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Tatarstan Republic, which is planned to take place in May.

Kabulov added that cooperation of the Government of the Russian Federation with the Taliban Government “on anti-terror is carried out on a regular basis.”  

Earlier, an official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Aibek Smadiyarov, had told Kazinform in an interview that the country’s Security Council had decided to remove the Taliban group now ruling Afghanistan from its registry of terrorist organizations.

Smadiyarov said Astana will continue to adhere to United Nations decisions and resolutions regarding Afghanistan. Kazakhstan officially designated the Taliban as a terrorist organization in March 2005.  Kazakhstan has sent several official delegations to Kabul since the Taliban took over Afghanistan after the U.S.-led military withdrawal in mid-2021.

These two decisions have sparked debate among experts about their implications and risks.  The most important question is what is the purpose of removal of the Taliban Movement from the list of terrorist groups and to what extent will this affect the security of the region?  

Tajik expert Rahmatullo Abdulloyev says the Russian authorities’ decision to officially recognize the Taliban regime is based on an intention to protect interests and maintain positions in this important geostrategic region.  

tajik expert Rahamtullo Abdulloyev

Regarding the impact of this possible Russian move on the countries of the region, Tajik expert believes that Russia no longer has those capabilities and power that it had before, “and therefore, not all of its expectations on the CIS member countries will be justified and realized.”  

“Recognition of the Taliban government is not in the interests of Central Asia’s countries and, first of all, our country.  At the same time, Tajikistan maintains trade relations with Afghanistan – border crossing points are open, Afghan power utility company purchase electricity from Tajikistan and border marketplaces operate.  This is evidence that we are against the blockade and isolation of neighbors and   we don’t want the standard of living of its [Afghanistan] people to deteriorate,” Abdulloyev said.  

Relations between the Taliban leadership in Kabul and official Dushanbe are strained as Tajik authorities have been outspoken in their demand that the unrecognized Afghan government boost inclusiveness since it took over after the withdrawal of U.S.-led international troops in August 2021.

Some Afghan media outlets note that Tajikistan is the only neighboring country of Afghanistan that has not accepted Taliban diplomats and has not established diplomatic relations with the group.