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Russia to continue helping U.S. in Afghanistan - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

18:32 03/12/2009 ROME, December 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia would continue to assist the U.S. in its military operation in Afghanistan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said following a Russian-Italian summit on Wednesday.

Moscow and Washington signed the deal on military transit via Russian territory, both overland and by air, on July 6 during President Barack Obama's visit to Russia.

"We are ready to assist our partners in their efforts, among other things by providing Russia's transit routes, and also by introducing rational economic improvements and Soviet-era projects, training police and military forces for Afghanistan," the Russian president said after a meeting with Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.

He added that Russia would "make its contribution" in helping the war-torn Central Asian state.

"But, from my point of view, only Afghanistan's national government could eventually restore order in its own country," the Russian leader said.

He added that Afghanistan has been a challenging task for the international community.

"It's not only about Afghanistan being a problem for all of us. Afghanistan should establish itself as a state. And this process has been ongoing for decades, if not even centuries. And we all became convinced that any attempt to form Afghani statehood by introducing any foreign political technologies ends in nothing," Medvedev said.

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