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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Russia allows US supplies transit

Moscow says it has agreed to a US request to ship non-military supplies for its troops in Afghanistan across Russian territory.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was waiting for the US to provide details of the shipments before giving specific permission.

A transit agreement was signed last year, but not put into practice.

Earlier this week, Kyrgyzstan said it would close a key US air base that supports operations in Afghanistan.

However, Tajikistan is reported to have agreed on Friday to allow Nato non-military supplies through its territory.

Correspondents say Nato has become increasingly concerned about the security of its overland supply routes through Pakistan.

Vital base

The Manas base in Kyrgyzstan - the last US facility in Central Asia - is vital for Nato operations in Afghanistan, says the BBC's Richard Galpin.

Russia has long opposed the presence of American military forces in Central Asia.

Moscow is thought to have offered a huge financial package to the Kyrgyz government this week to persuade it to shut the base down.

However, Kyrgyzstan says its plan to close the base, which parliament will vote on next week, is not linked to a $2bn (1.3bn) Russian aid package.



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