Russia has said it will allow the transit of US supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan through its territory.It comes after Washington was dealt a blow earlier this week when Kyrgyzstan said it was shutting down a US air base used as a major staging post for US forces in Afghanistan. The decision forces the US to seek alternative supply routes to reach Afghanistan. “Just a few days ago, the American side approached us with a request to implement a Russia-NATO deal signed in April last year on non-military supplies transit through Russian territory for its forces in Afghanistan,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We gave a positive answer within 24 hours. We are now waiting for our US partners to provide us with specific details – the quantity and nature of the shipments – and then we will issue the relevant permissions,” Lavrov added. Deals with Afghanistan’s neighbours Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also underway to provide the US with air and rail routes. Kyrgyzstan is believed to have been persuaded to shut down the base by Moscow which offered it a lucrative aid package earlier this week. But both Kyrgyzstan and Russia deny any link between the 1.5 billion euro deal and plans to close the base, which are expected to be approved by parliament next week.
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