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Russia, Italy to sign agreement on military transit to Afghanistan

RIA Novosti

21:38 15/02/2011 MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Italy will sign on Wednesday an intergovernmental agreement on the air transit of military equipment via Russia to Afghanistan, Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said.

The deal will be signed during a February 16-17 visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Italy. The Russian leader is also due to hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

"This is a continuation of our policy of supporting international efforts to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan...confirmed during the last Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon," Prikhodko said.

"We are creating a legal base to ensure that our colleagues can accomplish without any problem the important mission that they are carrying out [in Afghanistan], to reinforce their contingents with supplies," he added.

Italy has the third largest military contingent in Afghanistan.

Russia has signed agreements on military transit with a number of NATO countries, including the U.S. and Germany.

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