Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s late National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, said in an interview with RBC that he hopes that Russia will intervene politically and will help avoid escalating violence in Afghanistan.  

He said that he is in Panjshir and there still was no clash between their forces and the Taliban group.

“We're all holding back our forces.  Both sides are trying to start negotiations, but at the same time preparing for a military option,” Massoud noted.  

“Now this is the situation.  We hope for a peace process, if negotiations can work, then we must give them a chance,” he said.   если переговоры могут сработать, то мы должны дать им шанс.

He further expressed hope that other countries – “our neighbors, regional powers” -- will intervene and pressure the Taliban to negotiate. 

Asked whether he has direct contacts with the Taliban leaders, Massoud said he had talked to them several times.  “I told them how I see the solution,” he noted.   

Asked whether he has had contacts with official representatives of Russia, he said, “Not yet.  But I hope that there will be an opportunity to do it, because Russia has concerns about the security situation in Afghanistan, there is concern about the political situation.” 

“I hope that they will intervene politically and will help avoid escalating violence in Afghanistan,” said Massoud.  “It's in their best interest, because if the extremist ideology is introduced here, it will flare up throughout Central Asia and the south of Russia, then extremism will be on the rise.”     

Recall, Ahmad Massoud had previously said that he will never hand over Panjshir province to anyone, even as the Taliban increases its forces near the mountainous valley in northern Afghanistan.

Speaking to Reuters, Massoud said he hoped for negotiations to resolve the issues, but he is ready for war if the negotiations fail.