Russia backs Afghanistan's call on US to return $7Bln in frozen assets
Russia supports Afghanistan's call on the United States to return the $7 billion in frozen assets to the war-torn country.
Russia backs the demand of Afghanistan's new government led by the Taliban that Afghan sovereign assets frozen on foreign bank accounts be restored to it, including $7 billion stolen by the US, Russian special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said on Tuesday.
From Monday to Tuesday, an international conference on Afghanistan will be held in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. The agenda is focused on security and economic development.
Approximately 100 foreign delegations have met to discuss how the international community might aid Afghanistan's post-conflict recovery and integration into regional affairs.
"I completely support [acting Afghan Foreign] Minister [Amir Khan] Muttaqi, who has demanded the unconditional return of $7 billion worth of Afghan assets frozen — essentially, stolen — by the United States," Kabulov said at the conference, adding that "the same applies" to $2.5 billion in humanitarian aid funding stranded on World Bank accounts.
The requirement that Afghanistan's central bank be supervised by a US-appointed director is utterly unacceptable, according to the Russian envoy.
The Taliban-led Afghan government took power last fall. Most countries, including Russia, have yet to acknowledge it.
Biden to split $7 billion in frozen Afghan funds
In February, Joe Biden signed an executive order releasing $7 billion in frozen Afghan funds to be shared between humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan and American victims of "terrorism", including 9/11 families.
According to The New York Times, the intricate strategy is intended to address a slew of legal blockages originating from the September 11 attacks and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
After the Taliban seized the nation in August, the government was dissolved leaving behind over $7 billion in central bank assets deposited with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The Taliban took over the central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, and claimed ownership of funds.
Taliban slams splitting Afghan assets
In response, the Taliban movement saw the US decision to split the Afghan funds held in US banks between humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan and 9/11 victims’ families as a showcase of theft and US moral decline, Mohammad Naeem, a spokesperson for the Taliban political office, said.
"The theft of blocked money belonging to the people of Afghanistan by the United States, as well as taking possession of it, is a showcase of the human and moral decline of the country and people," Naeem said on Twitter.
Mohammad Naeem, a #Taliban spokesman, accused the US of "stealing" Afghan money and tweeted that seizing Afghan money represented the "lowest level of human and moral of a country and a nation." #PaykMedia #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/s1WimMtOAw— Payk Media - Revealing the Truth (@PaykMedia) February 11, 2022