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    MOSCOW, February 5, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondents Sergei Zelentsov and Anna Bobina/. The German military and transport aircraft has started flights to Afghanistan via Russian territory, the press and information department of the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti.

    "Transit flights of German aircraft involved in the UN peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan are performed on the basis of the general one-year permission on transit of German weapons and military equipment via Russian territory issued by the State Customs Committee," the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

    "The conclusion of a bilateral agreement on military transit is Russia's first agreement of this kind with a NATO member-state. It reflects a high level of Russian-German partnership and is Russia's practical contribution into Afghanistan's settlement," the Foreign Ministry stressed.

    On February 3 the German military-transport aircraft performed the first flight in accordance with the Russian-German intergovernmental agreement on transit of military equipment and personnel via Russian territory. The agreement was signed in Yekaterinburg on October 9, 2003.

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