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Russia – Afghanistan Trade Turnover Up Fivefold Since 2022 US Troop Withdrawal

Rustam Habibullin, the head of the Russian Business Center in Afghanistan, has said that the trade turnover between Russia and Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces has increased significantly and reached US$1 billion. He stated that the main areas of trade are gas, oil products, flour and wheat, and more recently, dairy products.

According to Habibullin, in 2022, bilateral trade was about US$170 million, and will exceed US$1 billion in 2024. Mr. Habibullin associates this growth with the Taliban coming to power and creating some stability, although it should be noted the Taliban is prohibited in Russia and recognized as a terrorist organisation. However, the main factor was the withdrawal of US and NATO forces, which “in every possible way impeded the active development of economic and political relations between the two countries.”

In addition, Habibullin said that Russian businesses are now creating jobs in Afghanistan and investing in local projects. These include plants, factories, agriculture, and potentially the construction of the Qosh-Tapa canal.  Several Russian companies lease land for agricultural land for long-term rent near the canal, which is intended to convert 550,000 hectares of desert into farmland.

Afghanistan has stated its intention to apply for membership of BRICS. 

Further Reading

Russia – Afghanistan 2024 Trade & Development

Russia’s trade and development dynamics with Afghanistan are comprehensively featured in our 2024 Russia’s Pivot to Asia guide, which is a complimentary download and can be accessed in English here and in Russian here.

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