Ex-Afghan president Ghani apologises to nation

Russia says Afghan president fled with cars and helicopter full of cash: RIA


Moscow: Russia s embassy in Kabul said on Monday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not all fit in, the RIA news agency reported.

Ghani, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, said he left Afghanistan on Sunday because the Taliban entered Kabul with little opposition. He said he wanted to avoid bleeding. read more

Russia has stated that it will retain its diplomatic presence in Kabul and hopes to develop relations with the Taliban, although it has stated that it is not eager to recognize them as the rulers of the country and will closely observe their actions.

RIA Novosti quoted Nikita Ishenko, the spokesperson of the Russian Embassy in Kabul, as saying: “As for the downfall of the (outgoing) regime, the most convincing thing is the way Ghani escaped from Afghanistan.”

“Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac,” he was quoted as saying.

Ischenko, the Russian embassy spokesman, confirmed his comments to Reuters. He cited “witnesses” as the source of his information. Reuters could not independently confirm the veracity of his account immediately.

President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said earlier that it is not yet clear how much money the fleeing government will leave.

“I hope the government that has fled did not take all the money from the state budget. It will be the bedrock of the budget if something is left,” Kabulov told Moscow s Ekho Moskvy radio station.

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