EastAsiaForum: It is worthwhile noting that Russia’s unwillingness to officially recognise the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan and its classification of the Taliban as a terrorist organisation since 2003 have not hindered their bilateral relationship so far. For the time being, Russian–Taliban engagement will continue. The Taliban views Russia as an attractive economic partner that could offer the cheaper oil and gas supplies that the Afghan economy desperately needs. For Russia, the Taliban is the most stable option in the region’s evolving security matrix and, for now, the only party that could curb the expansion of IS. Both sides have no reason to give up these benefits. Click here to read more (external link).