A group of Russian investors visited Afghanistan to discuss joint projects with the Taliban militants who seized power in the country.
According to the Moscow Times, Inamullah Samangani, an official representative of the Taliban, reported about the meeting with the delegation from Russia.
According to him, the Russians met with Taliban’s Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi and discussed the possibility of oil and gas production, construction of oil refineries, as well as the production of cement and alloys.
The Taliban claim that one of the investors named Alexander “expressed interest” in investing in these sectors of the Afghan economy.
In the end of August, a week and a half after the government of Ashraf Ghani fell, Russian Ambassador to Kabul Dmitry Zhirnov said that Taliban were interested in Russian investments.
“The Taliban are open to our participation in the economy, including the development of mineral resources,” Zhirnov said, adding that with the arrtival of the new government in Kabul, there was more order, drug addicts and hooligans disappeared.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Afghanistan’s mineral resources may be worth about $1 trillion.
The country has about 60 million tons of copper, 2.2 billion tons of iron ore, 1.4 million tons of rare earth metals, including lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, and arguably the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a key component for the production of ion batteries. It is also believed that Afghanistan has reserves of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc and mercury.
Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation prohibits providing assistance for terrorist activities, including financing of terrorism, reminds the Moscow Times. Among other things, the provision of financial services “to an organized group created to commit at least one of these crimes” can be considered as such assistance under Russian Criminal Code.