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Russia will not end co-op with NATO on Afghanistan
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08:56, August 27, 2008

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Russia is not planning to stop its cooperation with NATO on Afghanistan, Russia's envoy to the military alliance Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday.

"We are not touching it (Russian-NATO cooperation on Afghanistan) for the time being," Rogozin said, adding that such a move would be premature, according to reports by the Interfax news agency.

The Russian leadership considers the situation in Afghanistan a common issue for the two sides, Rogozin said at a press conference in Moscow.

However, he warned that the cooperation could be suspended if NATO countries further worsen relations with his country, adding that he believes the NATO operation in Afghanistan will not succeed without Russia's assistance.

According to the Russian embassy in Kabul, up to 40 percent NATO cargoes going through Pakistan are either lost or stolen on the way, said Rogozin, who predicted the situation will get much worse following last week's resignation of Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president.

The earlier agreements on transit of NATO non-military cargo through Russia are therefore becoming more significant, he said.

Moscow recalled Rogozin from Brussels "for consultations" after NATO froze contacts through the Russia-NATO Council in an emergency foreign ministers' meeting last week.

At a meeting with Rogozin on Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said his country could sever all ties with NATO if necessary.


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