Kabul Seeks To Import Oil Products From Russia Offering Minerals In Exchange - Minister

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th August, 2022) Afghanistan would like to exchange oil products from Russia for domestically extracted minerals, acting Afghan Minister of Industry and Trade Nooruddin Azizi told Sputnik on Friday.

"Our priority is to import Russian goods under a barter scheme," Azizi said in an interview, adding that "if operations under this scheme do not work out, then we can use financial transactions."

Kabul, in exchange for the supply of petroleum products and goods from Russia, could offer Moscow minerals extracted in the country, as well as supplies of raisins and medicinal herbs, the minister said.

With the current Afghan government having assumed control of the entire country's territory, it can now "provide Russia with some of our minerals in exchange for Russian imports," including products and energy resources, Azizi said.

There are no restrictions on Afghanistan from the US or the EU on such supplies of raw materials, he said, noting that, if needed, "Afghanistan can pay for these goods with money."

Earlier in the day, Azizi said that Kabul wants to reach an agreement with Moscow by the end of the year to buy some 1 million tonnes of gasoline and 1 million tonnes of diesel.

The delegation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Afghanistan arrived in Moscow on August 14. Sent by the Taliban government (under UN sanctions for terrorism), the business mission held talks with Russian colleagues in Moscow. On Thursday, the delegation paid a visit to Kazan.

An interim Afghan government led by the Taliban came to power last fall after the withdrawal of US troops from the country and the collapse of the US-backed government. The Taliban takeover triggered economic disarray and food shortages that have pushed the country to the brink of a humanitarian crisis. Thousands of Afghans have fled the country fearful of the Taliban, widespread violation of human rights, and the deprivation of women and girls of their freedoms.