Russia, Spain to sign Afghan transit deal next week
Russia will sign a deal next week allowing Spain to transit supplies for NATO operations in Afghanistan by rail through its southern territory, an aide for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.
Medvedev will sign the transit agreement during an official visit to Madrid from March 1-3, Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin aide Sergei Prikhodko as saying.
Spain, with over 600 military personnel based in Afghanistan, would become the fourth NATO-member state to be granted transit rights by Moscow after Germany, France and the US.
Securing new supply routes through Central Asia and southern Russia has been a crucial strategic goal for NATO and US forces as they scale up fighting against the Taliban insurgency in Northern Afghanistan.