KABUL - Russia has rejected comments by NATO's top commander in Afghanistan that it has been supporting and even supplying weapons to the Taliban, in a clash of words that underlines growing tension over Moscow's involvement in the conflict.
In an interview with the BBC last week, General John Nicholson said that Russia had been acting to undermine US efforts in Afghanistan despite shared interests in fighting terrorism and narcotics, with indications that Moscow was providing financial support and even arms.
"We've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and said this was given by the Russians to the Taliban," he said.
A statement from the Russian embassy in Kabul dismissed the comments as "idle gossip", repeating previous denials by Russian officials.
"Once again, we insist that such statements are absolutely baseless and appeal to officials not to talk nonsense," the embassy said.