British daily The Times citing a Taliban treasurer said that the group is receiving the financial support through fuel supplies via Uzbekistan border.
“The Russian fuel supplies began coming to us 18 months ago,” the unnamed 23—year-old treasurer was quoted as saying. “At first it was just a few tankers to test the system. But then the numbers suddenly increased so that dozens were coming each month. The Russians give it all to us for free – we just pay the import duty and then keep the profits.”
Most of the fuel is sold by Taliban front companies to businessmen in Kabul, and according to the treasurer the fuel scheme was worth an estimated $2.5 million and was one of many methods of Russian funding to the group.
“I just deal with the finances of a few Taliban commanders in one sector in one province,” the militant said. “I transfer them the money and then account for its distribution. But there are many other people like me.”
U.S. and Afghan officials have repeatedly accused Russia of providing support to the Taliban, but Moscow has kept rejecting the allegations.
“They have got three aims in dealing with us: defeat Islamic State, undermine the U.S.-supported Afghan government and humiliate and hurt NATO,” a senior adviser to the Quetta Shura, the Taliban leadership council based in Pakistan, told the paper.