Russia denies paying Taliban to kill US troops
Published: 12:03 PM, 28 June 2020 Updated: 12:06 PM, 28 June 2020
Russia has rejected a media report saying that Russia had offered money to Taliban-linked militants to kill US troops and other members of the NATO coalition operating in Afghanistan.
The New York Times and Washington Post cited US officials as saying a Russian military intelligence unit linked to assassination attempts in Europe had offered the alleged bounties last year.
Russia on Saturday denounced the accusations, with the Russian embassy in Washington, DC calling them "baseless and anonymous".
"Baseless and anonymous accusations [published by @nytimes ] of Moscow as mastermind behind killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan have already led to direct threats to the life of employees of the Russian Embassies in Washington D.C. and London," they wrote on Tweeter.
"In the absence of reasons to #BlameRussians, @nytimes is there to invent new fake stories.
@mschwirtz @EricSchmittNYT @charlie_savage obviously lack information on cooperation between Russia and #US on the Afghan peace process, on Syrian, North Korean, Venezuelan, Iranian agendas," the tweet added.
The Taliban also denied there was any such deal with Russian intelligence.
"These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless - our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."
In 2019, 20 US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan but there have been no reported Taliban attacks on the US positions since the two countries reached an agreement in February that paves the way for the US to withdraw from the nearly 20-year long conflict.