Transit arrangements with Russia expired last year: NATO
KABUL (Pajhwok): Following reports that Russia stopped transit of NATO military cargo to Afghanistan, NATO’s spokesperson said on Tuesday that the NATO/Russia transit arrangements were expired on 31 December 2014, which is when ISAF was officially concluded.
Ms. Oana Lungescu, NATO spokesperson, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “NATO concluded transit arrangements with a number of countries to support the efforts of the International Security Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (ISAF). The NATO/Russia transit arrangements covered the movement of ISAF military equipment and were specific to ISAF and UNSCR 1386. These transit arrangements were commercial in nature. They expired on 31 December 2014.”
Russian media reports that according to the official document, signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published on Monday, all previous decisions on NATO cargo transit to Afghanistan have now been revoked. This includes an act allowing delivery of military hardware and equipment via rail, motor vehicles, or through Russian airspace.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has been ordered to inform all the countries involved.
The NATO spokesperson said that ISAF redeployment is complete. Sufficient support arrangements have been set up with respect to the new NATO-led Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, which was launched on 1 January 2015.
She said that in light of that NATO has not sought to extend transit arrangements with Russia on ISAF or to negotiate new arrangements for Resolute Support.
Transit of military cargo to Afghanistan through Russia was permitted after a 2001 UN Security Council resolution. The document established an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and called on all countries to support the NATO-led security mission. In 2008 Russia signed a decree allowing ISAF cargo to pass through its territory.
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