1000th ISAF supply mission transits through Russia
WASHINGTON (PAN): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has completed its 1000th supply mission through the Russian airspace, being developed as an alternative to the Pakistan land route.
"These flights are the result of a bilateral agreement in support of operations in Afghanistan that was announced during the July 2009 United States-Russia summit," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a daily news conference.
He said the flights to date had resulted in the transfer of over 150,000 personnel in support of international efforts in Afghanistan, and they would continue in the weeks and months ahead.
"This is just one part of our broader engagement with Russia on Afghanistan, including counternarcotics cooperation, as well as regionally-supported diplomatic efforts to facilitate reconciliation in Afghanistan," Toner added.
The State Department said the US-Russia agreement complemented a separate NATO-Russia transit arrangement, under which supplies had been shipped by rail through Russia and Central Asia to support foreign forces in Afghanistan.
To date, the shipments total more than 25,000 containers. Taken together, the transit arrangements with Russia have allowed diversification of crucial transportation routes into Afghanistan, significantly improving US ability to support its troops.
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