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MOSCOW, April 18 (Itar-Tass) — President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted the agreement with Italy on military cargo transit to the State Duma for ratification.
“Pursuant to Article 84 (d) of the Russian Constitution and the Federal Law ‘On International Treaties of the Russian Federation’, the President of the Russian Federation has submitted to the State Duma for ratification the agreement between Russia and Italy on air transit of weapons, ammunition, military equipment, property and personnel through the territory of the Russian Federation,” the presidential press service said on Wednesday, April 18.
On February 16, 2011, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa signed the the inter-governmental agreement on air transit of arms, ammunition, military hardware, property and personnel via Russia in connection with Italy's participation in the international reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
The Rome agreement allows Russia's airspace to be used as the so-called “northern corridor” that passes through Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and is the most effective and economical route for material and logistical support to the Italian contingent in Afghanistan and serves as an alternative to the air route through the United Arab Emirates, the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a communique.
The agreement supplements the document signed during the seventh round of Russian-Italian inter-governmental consultations in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi on December 3, 2010, which concerned railway transit.
La Russa thanked the Russian government for cooperation and stressed the highest level of understanding and bilateral relations.
Italy undertakes to carry out the transit only for the purposes stated in the agreement. Russia can deny such transit if it turns out that the transportation of cargoes or personnel does not comply with the purposes of the agreement or can jeopardise Russia’s security.
When transporting Italian arms, military hardware and equipment through Russia, a stopover in Russia is required. No such stopover may be made if transit involves auxiliary cargoes. In this case the decision is to be made by the relevant Russian authorities, depending on the nature of the cargo.
Military transit requires no payment of customs duties and is subject to border and customs control and other types of control if so required by the Russian authorities.
The agreement enters into force from February 16, 2011. Its implementation requires no additional federal budget expenditures.