„The latest round of talks between the Taliban and other Afghan factions in Russia on Tuesday and Wednesday were organized by Moscow to mark the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. Parallel peace talks led by the US and Russia underscore the complicated nature of the Afghan conflict, which is driven by geopolitical factors.
The divergences of interests are evident in the joint call by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the political deputy of the Taliban, for the withdrawal of US-led coalition troops, the presence of which they consider a major obstacle to peace in Afghanistan.
It must be noted that Russia has both geopolitical and geo-economic interests in Central Asia. It considers Central Asia its strategic backyard and has a monopoly over pipeline diplomacy, as it has continued to transport Central Asian natural resources through pipelines that have existed since Soviet times. The Russian role in Afghanistan has been shaped primarily by the threats to the region emanating from and facilitated by the latter.“ (…)