Moscow hopes that NATO will be using Russian aircraft for its cargo deliveries to and from Afghanistan via the Ulyanovsk transit base in the Volga area, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said.
“There is Volga-Dnepr air carrier company in the Vostochny airport [in Ulyanovsk], which has all types of aircraft capable of safely delivering any kind of cargo to Afghanistan,” Grushko said.
Earlier in the week, NATO's Moscow office spokesman Robert Pshel said that the alliance was looking forward to signing the first commercial contracts with Russia to use the transit hub in Ulyanovsk in the next few months.
He also said that there was a high chance NATO would use Russian aircraft to carry cargo from Afghanistan to the transit hub. NATO already uses Russian-owned Ilyushin Il-76 and Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft operated by commercial airlines.