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Medvedev signs law ratifying Russia-U.S. pact on military transit to Afghanistan (Update 1)

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed on Wednesday a law on ratifying an agreement with the United States on military transits to Afghanistan via Russia, the Kremlin said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed on Wednesday a law on ratifying an agreement with the United States on military transits to Afghanistan via Russia, the Kremlin said.

Russia has already signed agreements on military transit with a number of NATO countries, including the U.S. and Germany.

In early February, Kyrgyzstan and the United States signed an agreement on jet fuel supplies to the U.S. airbase.

Russia may refuse transit if it constitutes any threat to Russia's security or does not comply with the agreement's goals.

In mid-November of 2009, the Russian government approved an agreement with NATO allowing the alliance to carry supplies to and from Afghanistan via Russian territory.

The new deal on the so-called reverse transit allows NATO to ship armored vehicles and other equipment from Afghanistan back to Europe by the same route through Central Asia and Russia.

The bloc already uses routes through Russia and neighboring Central Asian states but current arrangements allow only for the transport of non-lethal supplies such as food and fuel.

NATO has pledged to hand over responsibility for security in Afghanistan to Afghans by the end of 2014, but also vowed not to leave the country to face the Taliban threat alone.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) currently has some 130,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to begin withdrawing troops from the country in July next year.

MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) 

 

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