The Russian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan affairs, Zamir Kabulov, on Saturday accused US intelligence in Afghanistan of "drug trafficking," reported Tass, a Russian news agency.
Following a New York Times story alleging that a Russian unit was offering bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan, Kabulov responded to the allegations, saying that US intelligence officers, who "accuse us of different things," are involved in "drug trafficking."
“Those wonderful US intelligence officers, who accuse us of different things, are involved in drug trafficking. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to - to Germany, to Romania - without any inspections," he said. "Every citizen of Kabul will tell you that, everyone is ready to talk about that," said Tass quoting Kabulov speaking to a state-run tv channel.
The New York Times report said that there were different theories on why Russia would support Taliban attacks, "including a desire to keep the United States bogged down in war."
The Taliban operation was "led by a unit known as the GRU," said the Times article, "which has been blamed in numerous international incidents including a 2018 chemical weapons attack in Britain that nearly killed Russian-born double agent Sergei Skripal."
The New York Times quoted a Kremlin spokesman saying that Russia was unaware of the accusations.
The Taliban also rejected the allegations.
Russia has more recently been accused by the United States of quietly providing weapons to the Taliban.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday last week, in remarks to the press on the reports of Russian bounties for Taliban fighters who kill Americans, said: "The fact that the Russians are engaged in Afghanistan in a way that's adverse to the United States is nothing new."
“Some members of Congress who are out there today suggesting that they are shocked and appalled by this, they saw the same intelligence that we saw. So it would be interesting to ask them what they did when they saw whatever intelligence it is that they are referring to,” Pompeo said.
Following Pompeo’s remarks about Russia, a source on Thursday confirmed to TOLOnews that the man who controls the transaction is named Rahmat Sia and he is the owner of a construction company.
Rahmatullah Azizi is his given name, but he is known as Rahmat Sia. He lives in Russia.
According to the source, Rahmatullah’s brother, his driver, his cousin and a Forex dealer have been arrested by the Afghan security forces in PD4 of Kabul city.