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Russian media: St. Petersburg governor meets with Taliban delegation

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 7, 2024 3:49 PM 2 min read
Alexander Beglov, Governor of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg on Nov. 29, 2023. (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov spoke with a delegation from the Taliban, which had traveled from Afghanistan for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian media reported on June 7.

"Praise the Almighty that you are here," St. Petersburg-based outlet Fontanka quoted Beglov telling the delegation.

The Taliban is officially on a Russian government list of banned organizations. News emerged in April that Russia was considering removing the Taliban from the list after the Taliban received an invitation to attend a forum in Kazan, Tatarstan.

Russia's Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry proposed on May 27 that Russian President Vladimir Putin remove the Taliban from the list of banned organizations.

According to Russian state-controlled news agency TASS, the step would pave the way for Russia to officially recognize Afghanistan's Taliban government, which seized power in 2021 and has not received de jure recognition from any country in the world.

Russia originally designated the Taliban a terrorist group in 2003, along with Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Taliban previously ruled over Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and enforced strict Sharia, religious law, that brutally persecuted women, political opponents, and religious minorities.

Since returning to power in 2021, the U.N. estimates that 1,000 civilians in Afghanistan have been killed.

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Ukraine's GDP grew by more than 4% in 6 months.

"Due to the high adaptability to difficult conditions and experience in responding to such challenges, the Ukrainian economy continued to grow" in June, said Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.
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