22:18 GMT17 February 2020
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    Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that there is no evidence Russia has transferred weapons or money to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this month that Moscow is only working with the Taliban (a terrorist movement outlawed in Russia) in order to assist the implementation of a UN Security Council decision requested by the Afghan government that would allow the group to take a role in the political process.

    "They’re in conversation with [the] Taliban, we’ve seen indications that they’ve offered some level of support, but I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred," Stewart stated.

    Lavrov noted that engaging with the Taliban is the only way to work with the group and, due to the Taliban’s historic importance in Afghan society, it is unlikely the country would be able to reach a political settlement without its participation.

    Lavrov has previously called accusations from the United States that it is supplying the Taliban with weapons baseless and unprofessional.

    Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Taliban, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Russia
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