Russia allows transit of US military supplies

February 7, 2009 02:34

Russia granted transit rights to non-lethal US military supplies headed to Afghanistan but only after apparently pressuring a former Soviet state to close an air base leased to the Americans. The signal from Moscow: Russia is willing to help on Afghanistan, but only on the Kremlin's terms. Kyrgyzstan announced the closure of the Manas air base Friday but US officials suspect that Russia was behind the decision, having long been irritated by the US presence in central Asia. The Russian decision to let US supplies cross its territory opened another route to those through Pakistan now threatened by militant attacks, but US officials were still left scrambling for alternatives to Manas.

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