Russia stops transit of NATO military cargo to Afghanistan

US soldiers, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), walk from a Chinook helicopter in the Gardez district of Paktia province. (AFP Photo)
Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has revoked a decree that allowed delivery of NATO military equipment to Afghanistan through Russian territory.

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According to the official document, signed by Medvedev and published on Monday, all previous decisions on NATO cargo transit to Afghanistan have now been revoked.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.

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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In 2014, Washington announced that the military operation in Afghanistan was over. The US-led coalition has pulled out most of its forces and the Afghan military has assumed full responsibility for national security. However, while the 2001 resolution has been terminated, some 13,000 ISAF troops will remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 to oversee local forces and provide training on counter-terror operations.