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Afghanistan’s financial assets should be unfrozen: Putin

Russia labelled the Taliban a "terrorist organisation" in 2003. Source: AFP.

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Afghanistan should receive economic support and get its financial assets unfrozen as its stability was in the interest of all its neighbours.

Washington has said it has no plans to release billions in Afghan gold, investments and foreign currency reserves parked in the United States that it froze after the Taliban seized power in August, despite pressure from humanitarian groups and others who say the cost may be the collapse of Afghanistan’s economy.

Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers won backing from 10 regional powers at talks in Moscow for the idea of a United Nations donor conference to help the country stave off economic collapse and a humanitarian catastrophe.

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said Russia is moving towards excluding the Taliban from its list of extremist organisations, a day after high-level talks between Moscow and Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Russia labelled the Taliban a “terrorist organisation” in 2003 but welcomed the Taliban for talks in Moscow several times before it seized power in Afghanistan in August.

Earlier this week, Russia called for the mobilisation of international aid to support Afghanistan, as Moscow hosted the Taliban for an international conference.