NATO Hopeful of Getting Afghanistan Transit Base in Russia
NATO hopes to sign the first commercial agreement with Russia on use of a transit base "within the next few months," a NATO spokesman said in Moscow.
The North Atlantic Alliance hopes to be able to use Russia's Ulyanovsk transit base for withdrawal of its ISAF forces from Afghanistan.
The huge amount of cargo being returned from Afghanistan means NATO will need all the assets it has, NATO's Moscow office spokesman Robert Pshel said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
The alliance is looking forward to signing the first commercial contracts with Russia to use the transit hub in Ulyanovsk in the next few months, he added.
The transit hub would not be a NATO military base, he stressed, but only a transit point for non-lethal cargo.
According to Pshel, there is a high chance NATO will use Russian aircraft to carry cargo from Afghanistan to the transit hub.
NATO already uses Russian-owned Ilyushin Il-76 and Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft operated by commercial airlines.
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