US supplies to Afghanistan via Russia to start soon

The shipment of US military supplies for Afghanistan through Russia will begin soon, news agencies quoted Russia's foreign minister as saying. "The transit will take place literally within days," Sergey Lavrov told TV Tsentr on Saturday, according to the Interfax, ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti agencies. Foreign Ministry officials could not be reached for comment late Saturday, and the reports did not say whether the supplies would transit Russia by land or air. However, Russia announced last week that it would allow US shipments of non-lethal military supplies to Afghanistan. Supply routes to Afghanistan for the US-led international military operation have become an increasingly critical issue in recent months amid growing militant attacks on the land routes through Pakistan that carry about 75 percent of US supplies. The US plans to send around 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan this year.