A report from a senior Taliban official says the country is looking to diversify its trading partners, and Russia is seen as a possible alternative as the sanctioned Moscow country has offered a discount on grain and energy prices.
The Taliban-led government said the deal would run for an unknown trial period, after which if both parties were on good economic terms, they would strike a long-term deal for years to come.
Afghanistan Acting Commerce and Industry Minister Azizi I’m an interview with Reuters news agency said the Taliban has signed a provisional deal with Russia that will see the country supplying energy and wheat to Afghanistan.
According to the Minister, Russia will supply approximately two million tonnes of wheat, one million tonnes of diesel and gasoline, and 500,000 tonnes of liquefied gas per year under the agreement.
The agreement would be in place for a period of trial, after which an agreement for a longer term would be considered should they be satisfied with the present one.
The deal would be the Taliban-led government’s first known international economic deal since their return to power in more than a year, as the deal was finalized after weeks of discussions in Moscow.
Both countries would look to bypass the sanctions imposed on them by their Western counterparts.
The Taliban government though not formally recognized by countries of the world remains determined about forming diplomatic relations with other countries.
The source says that the Afghan government does receive oil and gas from Iran and Turkmenistan; they also have strong economic ties with Pakistan, but they’re still looking for an alternative, as they don’t want to be dependent on one country.
Since the Taliban regained power, Afghanistan has been plunged into an economic crisis since sanctions have cut it off from the global banking system.