Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 21st, 2018

‘Russia Sees HIA Deal against its Interests’

‘Russia Sees HIA Deal  against its Interests’

KABUL - Political analysts say Russia believes the removal of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s name from the UN blacklist is not in its interest, thus trying to block the move.
Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) and the Afghan government, after months of peace negotiations finally reached a peace accord in September.
Under the agreement, the government would try to get lifted international sanctions on HIA and removed names of HIA members on UN and US blacklists.
However, some Afghan and western media outlets recently said Russia was trying to create problems for implementation of the agreement between HIA and the government besides blocking Hekmatyar’s removal from blacklists.
According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, during the 10-day period for member states to respond, Russia said it needed more time to consider the request. According to UN rules, it has up to six months to provide reasoning for its opposition.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that Moscow had put the delisting on hold but hadn’t blocked it. She didn’t explain why Russia needed more time to consider the move.
Some Afghan analysts say Russia considers the agreement between with the Afghan government and the HIA as a detriment for itself.
Political analyst Dr. Faiz Mohammad Zaland told Pajhwok Afghan News that Russia had recently increased criticism of US’s regional and international policies. He believed a second phase of the cold war was beginning.
He said Russia wanted the national unity government to answer its questions regarding protection of its national interests, fighting Daesh and preventing drug smugglings.
Russians had told the Afghan government that not everything was in US control and Russia also has a force and their interests should be protected, he said.
Another poetical analyst, Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, also said Russia, China and some other regional countries’ policies on Afghanistan had changed.
“Russia thinks Hekmatyar is brought by the US to join Daesh in fighting against Russia,” he said, adding that Russia and China did not want to HIA members removed from the blacklist.
He said recent statements of Russia special envoy to Kabul, Zamir Kabulov, showed that Moscow was serious about Afghanistan.
Javid Ghafor, another political expert, said Russia was supporting Taliban because it believed the Taliban would be weakened by the US if the HIA joined the government.
“Russia thinks the agreement between HIA and the government has been signed in interest of the US so it considers the move against its national interests,” he added. (Pajhwok)