UK Says Russia, China Needed for ‘Moderating Influence’ Over Taliban

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
August 22, 2021 Updated: August 22, 2021

Britain would have to turn to Russia and China to exercise a “moderating influence” over the Taliban, despite a mistrust between the UK and those governments, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

“We’re going to have to bring in countries with a potentially moderating influence like Russia and China, however uncomfortable that is,” Raab told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

The Taliban seized power last weekend from a U.S.-backed government, sending thousands fleeing and potentially heralding a return to the terrorists’ autocratic rule of two decades ago.

Britain and China have recently been at odds over various issues, including Hong Kong and alleged human rights abuses against China’s Uyghur ethnic group.

Ties between London and Moscow also have been on ice since the 2018 poisoning with a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal, a mole who betrayed hundreds of Russian agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service.

Relations between Britain and Russia deteriorated further after a BBC journalist working in Moscow was told to leave the country.

British forces have evacuated 3,800 people from Kabul since Aug. 13, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defence, including 1,323 who have made it to the UK.

By Kanishka Singh

Reuters
Reuters