Taliban nearing contract for purchase of gasoline from Russia | The Express Tribune


KABUL:

The Taliban administration is in the final stages of talks in Moscow over the terms of a deal for Afghanistan to buy gasoline and benzene from Russia, Afghan Commerce Ministry officials said. Reuters.

Habiburahman Habib, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industry, confirmed that an official delegation headed by the Ministry of Commerce was in the Russian capital and finalizing contracts for the supply of wheat, gas and oil. .

“They are in negotiations with the Russian side,” he said in a message to Reutersadding that they would share details once the contracts are completed.

A source from the office of the Minister of Trade and Industry said Reuters technical officials from his ministry and the finance ministry had remained in Moscow to work on the contracts after a ministerial delegation visited earlier this month.

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“We are working on the text of the contract, (we are) almost in agreement on gasoline and benzene,” the official said, adding that they expected it to be completed soon.

Spokespersons for Russia’s foreign and energy ministries did not respond to requests for comment.

The deals come after a Taliban delegation led by the acting trade minister visited Russia in mid-August to hold trade talks.

If completed, the deal would be a sign that foreign countries are increasingly doing business with the Taliban, despite his administration not being officially recognized by any international government since taking over the country after the withdrawal. American troops about a year ago.

It comes as the United States tries to convince other nations to reduce the use of Russian oil, saying the move is aimed at cutting the oil revenue Moscow uses to fund its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan face economic sanctions from international governments, including the United States.

No foreign government, including Moscow, officially recognizes the Taliban administration, and Afghan banks have been hampered by sanctions that have prevented most international banks from transacting with Afghan banks.

The official source said they have a plan on how the payments would be made, but declined to provide details on using official banking channels.

Despite Afghanistan’s central bank assets being frozen, its banking sector hampered by sanctions and a lack of official recognition from abroad, some countries are doing business with Kabul, helping it access global markets amid the crisis. domestic economy.

Pakistan receives thousands of tons of coal from Afghanistan every day, which the former welcomed to ease its energy crisis. Transactions are carried out by private companies in each country, and the Taliban administration collects millions of dollars in customs duties on coal exports.

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