Kabul Welcomes Russian Companies Investing In Oil Sector, Lithium Production - Minister

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th August, 2022) Kabul sees no obstacles for Russian companies to resume their activities in Afghanistan, investing in the oil and gas sector, cement and lithium production, given ample Soviet experience, acting Afghan Minister of Industry and Trade Nooruddin Azizi told Sputnik on Friday.

"Russian companies once conducted mineral exploration, and now their surveys are used by our Ministry of Mining and Oil," Azizi said in an interview, adding that Russia also has the same documents in possession.

The USSR implemented more than 140 major infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, making Russia well acquainted with the Afghan market and the country's national features by default, the minister noted. Thus, Kabul believes there are no major blocks for Russian companies to do business in Afghanistan, since they have proper relevant experience, and proposes to "invest in the cement industry," according to Azizi.

Afghanistan is ready for Russian companies to invest in the oil and gas industry, as well as mineral resources, he said, adding that "we have very good and high-quality lithium."

Kabul also invites Russian businesses to invest in the development of the country's electricity networks, the minister said. Afghanistan, under proper investments in the energy sector, can generate up to 70,000 MW of electricity and share it with neighboring countries, he suggested.

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.