The United States sees Russia as one of the major hindrances in achieving a long and durable solution to the protracted conflict of Afghanistan. according to the U.S. officials, Russia has been assisting Taliban including providing them intelligence information.
Both the U.S. and the Afghan governments hope to cajole Taliban to join peace talks. On his official visit to Afghanistan, the Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis revealed that some of the Taliban splinter groups have shown interests in talks with the Afghan government. He furthered, “You don’t want to miss an opportunity because you weren’t alert to the opportunity. So you need to have that door open even if you increase the military pressure”.
A couple of weeks ago the Afghan President extended a generous offer to Taliban to quit fighting instead negotiate with the Afghan government to put an end to the Afghan conflict.
The Taliban is yet to respond to the Afghan President unprecedented peace offer but has reiterated that they are willing to hold talks with the U.S government instead of talking to the Afghan government.
Russian support for Taliban can further complicate the peace process and will make it difficult for both the Afghan government and the U.S to reach an agreement with the Taliban. As the U.S sees Taliban as a terrorist organization Russia’s support for Taliban legitimize the group as a military force. Russian officials have many times stated that their contact with Taliban is only to curb the IS-KP activities and influence in the region.