Russia seeks trade cooperation with Afghanistan: Lavrov

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a statement that his country sees “promising areas” for developing trade and economic cooperation with Afghanistan.

Lavrov added that Russia wants to work directly with Kabul in the areas of agriculture, transit and energy.

“We see promising areas for developing cooperation and direct contacts between business circles. First of all, it is agriculture, energy, as well as transport, taking into account Afghanistan’s high transit potential,” the minister said. “In general, the more than 140 enterprises built by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan remain the backbone of the Afghan economy, and this creates additional opportunities for increasing our cooperation in the trade and economic sphere,” Lavrov said.

Officials in the Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said they consider this step to be beneficial for the country in the current situation.

“By doing so, our agriculture grows and our agriculture progresses. In addition, our domestic production includes non-alcoholic beverages, water, soft drinks, which have a very high capacity and will grow,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, head of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment.

But others think that Russia is seeking a short-term market for its oil.

“By increasing its economic relations with Afghanistan, Russia wants to regain its lost influence, said Shakir Yaqoubi, an economist.Russia has been Afghanistan’s trading partner for the past 20 years, exporting some of its oil and iron to Afghanistan.—TOLO