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Russia ready to provide planes to evacuate Afghans to any country — Foreign Ministry

Russia is ready to provide civil planes to evacuate Afghan nationals who want to leave the country to any other state, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"In the light of the situation that we now see at the airport of Kabul and the inability of some Western countries to arrange the evacuation of their diplomats, military and civilians from Afghanistan, to say nothing about Afghan nationals who cooperated with them, and their families who want to leave the country but have no possibility we would like to say the following: In order to prevent the worsening of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, we are ready to provide the services of the Russian civil aviation to ensure the flight of any number of Afghan nationals, including women and children, to whatever foreign countries that will show an interest in receiving and accommodating them," the diplomat said.

"Representatives of the new authorities in Afghanistan have assured us that there are no fundamental obstacles for the arrival in Kabul and departure of Russian civil aircraft. The safety of the planes, their crews and passengers is guaranteed," the diplomat added.

Zakharova said that Russia had no information about Russian nationals who could have been hurt at Kabul airport amid the developments of the past few days.

On August 15, fighters from the Taliban radical militant group (outlawed in Russia) entered Kabul without encountering any resistance, establishing full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and fled the country. At present, Western nations are evacuating their citizens and embassy staff.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 19Aug21]

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