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NATO refuses to discuss Afghanistan with Russia - envoy Rogozin

RIA Novosti

18:43 01/12/2009 BRUSSELS, December 1 (RIA Novosti) - NATO has refused to set up a Russia-NATO working group on Afghanistan and will not allow Moscow to participate in its internal discussion of the situation, Russia's NATO envoy said on Tuesday.

"They want to get everything from us without clarifying the political and military aspects of the NATO operation in Afghanistan," Dmitry Rogozin said after a Russia-NATO meeting at the level of ambassadors prior to a ministerial meeting on December 4.

According to Rogozin, Russia wants NATO "to transform its idle curiosity over our possibilities into concrete and well-coordinated cooperation when partners share common goals and balance their contributions [to the cause]."

Rogozin said Russia has proposed setting up a working group to discuss on a permanent basis with NATO the development of the situation in Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking in the country.

He reaffirmed that Russia could play an important role in supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan, not only by allowing transit of NATO military cargo and personnel into the war-torn Central Asian country, but also by training personnel for the country's police forces and even delivering small arms and light weapons for Afghan police.

The Russian envoy to NATO earlier accused Canada and some other NATO members of blocking the preparation for the upcoming Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels, which had the situation in Afghanistan as a key issue on the agenda.

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