Russia was ready for Taliban’s win due to longtime contacts

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MOSCOW (AP) — When the Taliban swept over Afghanistan, Russia was ready for the rapid developments after working methodically for years to lay the groundwork for relations with the group that it still officially considers a terrorist organization. The Soviet Union fought a 10-year war in Afghanistan that ended when it withdrew its troops in 1989. Since then, Moscow has made a comeback as an influential power broker in international talks on Afghanistan. It has worked continuously to cultivate ties with the Taliban, hosting representatives of the group for a series of meetings. Russia’s ambassador to Kabul met with the Taliban for what he described as “constructive talks” after they took over Kabul, agreeing that they will protect the embassy.

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