14:35 GMT29 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Media reports citing US intelligence assessments alleging that Russian intelligence has solicited killings of US troops by the Taliban in Afghanistan are yet another fake news pursing to disrupt the Afghan peace process, a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

    "We have paid attention to yet another fake news, released into media space by the US intelligence about Russian military intelligence's alleged involvement in contracted killings of US troops in Afghanistan. This blunt story vividly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of US intelligence's propaganda staff, who instead of making up something more elaborate has come up with such nonsense", the Russian Foreign Ministry representative told journalists, adding that "on the other hand, what else one can expect from the intelligence that has miserably failed to succeed in the 20-year war in Afghanistan."

    According to the diplomat, it has become a commonly known fact that the US intelligence community has established a whole network of alternative income sources while on service in Afghanistan, including drug trafficking, charging militants for passage of vehicle caravans, and kickbacks on military contracts payed for by the US taxpayers' money.

    "Maybe the US spies are not happy about the fact that our [Russian] and their [US] diplomats together promote peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban? Their feelings are understandable — they just do not want to loose the mentioned illegal sources of income", the Foreign Ministry representative said.

    On Friday, The New York Times published an article where it cited unnamed government sources as saying that US President Donald Trump was presented with an intelligence report that claimed that Moscow could have payed bounty to armed Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan to assassinate US soldiers. The outlet said Trump had so far failed to act on the report.

    In February, the US and the Taliban signed a peace deal that concluded rounds upon rounds of talks pursuing to launch the reconciliation process in Afghanistan after almost two decades of armed conflict and insurgency.

    Last week, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said that intra-Afghan talks were closer than ever after Kabul and the Taliban carried out a significant exchange of prisoners.

    Tags:
    intelligence, Afghanistan, US, Russia
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