Medvedev passes transit deal with U.S. to State Duma

12:46, January 16, 2011      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday forwarded an agreement between Moscow and Washington allowing the transit of U.S. weapons and troops through Russian territory to the State Duma for ratification.

The intergovernmental agreement, which allows the transit of U. S. weapons and troops through Russian territory into Afghanistan, was inked on July 6, 2009, during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Moscow.

According to Obama, the deal "is a substantial contribution by Russia to an international effort," which will also save the U.S. troops time and money.

"The total number of such flights is up to 4,500 flights in one direction in a year," said a statement posted on the Kremlin website.

Russia meanwhile reserves the right to deny permission of such flights, should Moscow consider the movement of cargo and personnel of the United States could pose a threat to its security, said the statement.

The weapons, military hardware, material and personnel allowed to be transited via Russia and thus bypassing Pakistan, will be used in international forces' operations in Afghanistan.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has been appointed as the presidential representative during the ratification process by the State Duma and the Federation Council, the two houses of the Russian parliament.

Source: Xinhua
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