Taliban political delegation led by Sheikh Shahabuddin Delawar visited Moscow on July 8 seeking to provide assurances that recent gains across Afghanistan do not pose a threat to Russia or Central Asia’s nations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the Kremlin’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov held talks with a delegation of the Taliban, urging the Islamist group to prevent the conflict in Afghanistan from spilling across borders.

"During the meeting, they discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the prospects of launching inter-Afghan talks.  The Russian side has expressed concern in relation to the escalation of tensions in the northern districts of Afghanistan, calling to avoid its spread outside of the country," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released after the consultations yesterday. 

“We received assurances from the Taliban that they wouldn’t violate the borders of Central Asian countries and also their guarantees of security for foreign diplomatic and consular missions in Afghanistan," the Ministry said.

"They stressed the group’s firm resolve to fight the ISIL threat in Afghanistan and eradicate drug production in the country’s territory after the end of the civil war," the Ministry added.

Radio Liberty reports that Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, said the delegation discussed preventing drug trafficking and reiterated that Afghan territory under their control would not be used to threaten neighbors.

He reportedly also said all border crossings under the control of the Taliban would remain open and that the group’s fighters would not target diplomatic missions and nongovernmental organizations.

Taliban fighters have captured large swaths of territory in northern Afghanistan as government forces collapse with the U.S. troop exit from the country.  Earlier this week, Taliban advances forced hundreds of Afghan soldiers to flee across the border into Tajikistan, which hosts a Russian military base.  Tajikistan in turn called up 20,000 military reservists to strengthen its southern border with Afghanistan.

The Russian-led CSTO military alliance, which includes Tajikistan, reiterated on July 8 that it was ready to mobilize if the situation on Tajikistan's common border with Afghanistan deteriorated.