Sale of gasoline on the streets of Kabul. Photo by Reuters, January 27, 2022 Taliban Close to Gasoline Contract With Russia
The Taliban administration is in the final stages of negotiations in Moscow over the terms of a contract to buy gasoline from Russia and for Afghanistan, Afghan officials say
Khabiburahman Habib, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Economy, confirmed to Reuters that an official delegation led by the Ministry of Trade is in Moscow and is finalizing contracts for the supply of wheat, gasoline and oil.
“They are in talks with the Russian side,” Habiburahman Habib told Reuters, adding that he would share details as soon as the contracts were signed.
A source from the Office of the Minister of Trade and Industry told the agency that technical officials from his ministry and the Ministry of Finance stayed in Moscow to work on contracts after the visit of a ministerial delegation in August 2022.
“We are working on the text of the contract, we have almost agreed on gasoline,” the official said, adding that he expects the process to be completed soon.
If contracts are signed, it will be a sign that some countries are increasingly doing business with the Taliban, despite the fact that their administration has not been officially recognized by any government since how the Taliban took control of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops about a year ago.
This comes as the United States tries to persuade other countries to cut back on Russian oil to limit the oil revenue Moscow uses to fund its invasion of Ukraine.
Both Russia and Taliban-led Afghanistan is facing economic sanctions from a number of states, including the United States. No government, including Russia's, officially recognizes the Taliban administration, and Afghan banks are hampered by sanctions that make most international banking organizations unwilling to do business with them. The assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan are frozen. However, a Reuters source told Reuters that the Taliban had a plan for how the payments would be made, although he declined to provide details on whether official banking channels would be used.
Russian ministry officials The foreign affairs and energy ministries did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. The Taliban organization is officially recognized by Russia as a terrorist organization, and its activities have been banned on the territory of the Russian Federation since 2003.