Monday Aug 16, 2021
The Russian embassy in Kabul on Monday claimed that Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, the RIA news agency reported.
Reports also claim that Ghani had to leave some money behind as all of it it was not fitting in.
Ghani, whose current whereabouts are unknown, said he left Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taliban entered Kabul virtually unopposed. He said he wanted to avoid bloodshed.
Russia has said that it will retain a diplomatic presence in Kabul and hopes to develop ties with the Taliban. Russia added that it is in no rush to recognise the Taliban as the country's rulers and will closely observe their behaviour.
"As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan," Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA.
"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," Ishchenko reportedly said.
Ischenko confirmed his comments to Reuters. He cited "witnesses" as the source of his information. However, Reuters was not able to independently confirm the authenticity of Ischenko's account.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's special representative on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov earlier stated that it was unclear how much money the fleeing government would leave behind.
"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.