Russian ambassador: Taliban made Kabul safer than it had been under Afghan authorities
According to the Today Online, the comments by Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov reflect an undisguised effort by Russia to deepen its well-established ties with the Taliban while stopping short, for now, of recognising the hardline Islamist group as the legitimate rulers of a country Moscow itself tried and failed to control before the Soviet Union withdrew its last forces in 1989.
It said, Russia wants to ensure that the instability in Afghanistan does not spill over into Central Asia, part of the former Soviet Union it regards as its own backyard, and that it does not become a launchpad for other extreme Islamist groups.
it added, Russia has said it was surprised, like many other nations, by the lighting speed with which the Taliban seized control of the country even as U.S. forces were still trying to evacuate American citizens.
Read more: Shocking scenes at Kabul airport as US evacuates staff from Afghanistan
Dmitry Zhirnov said to Moscow's Ekho Moskvy radio station: "The situation is peaceful and good and everything has calmed down in the city. The situation in Kabul now under the Taliban is better than it was under (President) Ashraf Ghani."
Zhirnov added, the Taliban had already taken control of the security perimeter of the Russian Embassy, which has over 100 staff and that he would hold detailed security talks with them on Tuesday.
According to Zhirnov, Taliban had promised, in line with earlier agreements, to protect Russian diplomats.
He also said, schools in Kabul, including those for girls, had started functioning again.