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Russia may send weapons to Afghanistan, but no troops

RIA Novosti

19/02/201018:55

HELSINKI, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow is considering a request to send weapons to Afghanistan but will not send troops, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.

"We have received a request to supply weapons to Afghanistan and we are currently examining it," he told journalists.

"The Russian Armed Forces will not become involved in Afghanistan," he said, adding that Russia had provided a transit corridor for coalition forces.

Serdyukov echoed the remarks made on February 9 by Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev, who said Russia would not send troops to help NATO forces counter the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union lost some 14,500 military personnel in its 1979-1989 campaign in Afghanistan.

But Patrushev reaffirmed Russia's commitments to help the alliance in other ways.

Russia has allowed land transits of non-lethal NATO supplies to Afghanistan and promised more assistance in the bloc's operations in the war-torn country by expanding transits, supplying helicopters and training Afghan security forces.



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