(AFP) – The Kremlin has asked Western countries to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets in order to provide humanitarian aid and prevent a migrant exodus to Europe fueled by the Taliban’s rule.
The international community does not recognise the hardline Islamist group that took control of Afghanistan in August after foreign forces abruptly exited a two-decade presence.
According to the United Nations, more than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are experiencing food shortages, with the winter forcing millions to choose between migration and famine.
The Kremlin’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, claimed Russia has warned the West that its hold on assets and transfers might cause thousands of Afghan families to “escape to Europe this winter.”
“The West is terrified of migratory flows,” he told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
“So, let us unfreeze the Afghan currency. We must do everything possible to prevent hundreds of thousands of Afghan families from fleeing the nation.”
After the Taliban took control of the nation, Washington stole roughly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan state bank, and the aid-dependent economy virtually collapsed.
Since then, Russia has expressed alarm over the expansion of terror groups in the nation, particularly the Islamic State group, and has warned that terror groups were planning to infiltrate neighbouring ex-Soviet countries disguised as refugees.
Kabulov has previously pushed Western nations to negotiate with the Taliban and the European Union to reopen its embassy in Afghanistan, warning that the country was on the verge of devolving into drug trafficking and terrorism.