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Envoy expects NATO non-military transit to Afghanistan via Russia

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - NATO's non-military supplies bound for Afghanistan via surface transit will soon flow at full capacity, Russia's NATO envoy said on Friday, dismissing Moscow's involvement in transit-related problems.

Moscow and Washington are currently working closely to establish regular transits of Afghanistan-bound cargoes via Russia.

"As to transit, the problem is not because of us," Dmitry Rogozin said during a satellite TV link-up between Moscow and Brussels, saying the bloc, which was to agree the issue with other transit nations, was to blame for the delay in the start of the transits.

"Now I think transit could start at full capacity," the Russian envoy said.

Rogozin said a number of issues remained to be solved with relevant Russian services regarding the transit through Russia's airspace of U.S. military cargoes to Afghanistan, which was agreed between Moscow and Washington last July.

"There is no political problem in this, there is Russia's natural demand of guaranteeing air transport security," he said.

Rogozin also said the western route of non-military supplies to Afghanistan via Ukraine, the Black Sea, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan, was not financially profitable to the Western military alliance.

"I think the rail route via Russia is safer," Rogozin said.

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