Transit Supplies for Afghanistan
Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. Central Command and the man charged with overseeing a new American surge against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan
The continued deterioration of internal security in Pakistan has contributed to a warming of U.S.-Russia ties. General David Petraeus, the American commander who led the "surge" in Iraq widely credited with reducing violence in that country, announced this week that the U.S. and Russia had reached a tentative agreement on bolstering supply lines for Afghanistan through Russian territory. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in a visit to Uzbekistan, another key transit country for supplies to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, told reporters this week that he hoped for an improvement in the Afghan situation with the new Obama Administration focusing more on stabilizing the war-torn country.
Click here to read the previous Russia Blog story on this topic:
Russia and Stans' Lifeline for Afghanistan?
Click on the extended post to read an extended excerpt from the AP article.
Trucks parked on the Aghan-Pakistani border. Operating from Pashtun tribal areas, the Taliban have terrorized truck drivers on the Khyber Pass highway, harassing NATO supply lines into Afghanistan. The northern route into Afghanistan - through Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan - passes through more friendly territory.
Russia ready to cooperate with US on Afghanistan
Friday January 23, 2009 7:52 pm ET
MOSCOW -- President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that Moscow is ready to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan by allowing the United States and others to cross Russian territory with cargo intended for coalition forces in the war-wracked nation.
Medvedev said that Russia also is prepared to help international efforts to combat drug-trafficking and terrorism in Afghanistan.
During his visit Friday to Afghanistan's neighbor Uzbekistan, Medvedev voiced hope that Barack Obama's administration will do better than its predecessors in stabilizing Afghanistan.
"Let's hope the new U.S. administration will be more successful than the previous one in dealing with the Afghan settlement," Medvedev said on television.
Medvedev's comments appeared to reflect the Kremlin's wish to mend ties with Washington, which deteriorated under the administration of George W. Bush.
U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood welcomed Medvedev's comments.
"We certainly look forward to working with Russia on Afghanistan," he said. "It's in both of our countries' interest to try to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan and bring about, you know, more economic development and security in the country."
U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan get up to 75 percent of "non-lethal" supplies such as food, fuel and building materials from shipments that cross Pakistan, where they have been increasingly targeted by Islamic militants.
U.S. Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus said Tuesday that America had struck deals with Russia and several Central Asian states close to or bordering Afghanistan during a tour of the region in the past week.
Petraeus gave few details, but NATO and U.S. officials have said recently they were close to securing transit agreements with Russia and the patchwork of Central Asia states to the north of Afghanistan.
Go to the Associated Press website to read the rest of this story.