Afghanistan Commerce and Industry Minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi has said that Kabul has signed a provisional deal with Russia to import gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat from Moscow.
According to a report published by Reuters on Wednesday, the minister said that his ministry is working to diversify its trading partners and Russia has offered Afghanistan a discount to average global commodity prices.
According to the deal, he said, Russia would supply around one million tonnes of gasoline, one million tonnes of diesel, 500,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and two million tonnes of wheat annually.
He added that the deal would run for an unspecified trial period, after which both sides are expected to sign a longer term agreement. He, however, refused to give details on pricing or payment methods.
It merits mentioning here that no country, including Russia, formally recognises the Taliban government in Afghanistan. However, Russia’s embassy is one of only a handful to remain open in Kabul.
Western diplomats had earlier said that the Afghanistan government needs to change its course on human rights, particularly those of women, and prove it has cut ties with international militant groups in order to gain formal recognition.