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Russia allows NATO to move armored vehicles through Ulyanovsk

August 23, 2012, 17:45 UTC+3

“We have now allowed to bring in Hummer armored vehicles,” Rogozin said about the list of items being transported through Ulyanovsk

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ULYANOVSK, August 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia has allowed to move armored vehicles through the Ulyanovsk transit hub, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the media on Thursday.

“We have now allowed to bring in Hummer armored vehicles,” Rogozin said about the list of items being transported through Ulyanovsk. “Mostly these vehicles are used to carry personnel for better protection against mines and terrorists.”

Rogozin accompanied reporters to the site where, according to some publications, an alleged NATO base is located to let them see for themselves that nothing of the sort existed there.

The journalists were shown two hangars on the air field. All those present were able to see there was no US contingent.

“I have brought you here for the sole purpose of putting an end to all this nonsense one may come across in the Internet,” he said. “This is what they call NATO base.”

Rogozin said that when the upgrade work was over, not a single foreign employee will appear at the transit hub.

“We shall not let any foreign personnel. All carriers will be exclusively Russian, both air and railway carriers,” Rogozin said. He pointed out that the Russian side must be fully aware of what was being transported.

“For the Russian Federation this is an issue of national security – creating conditions for large logistic transport corridors, using its vast territory. May other countries get used to the idea of moving goods through us. And we shall be making money,” Rogozin said.

Rogozin pointed out that Russia might earn a great deal, if it had exclusively full information and access about the cargoes being moved through its territory and carry out customs inspections of these goods to be sure there are no banned items.

“We have put this question to the European Union and the United Nations (possibly, UN cargoes may be transited through Ulyanovsk, too),” Rogozin said, adding that the end destinations of these cargoes in Russia’s territory should be either seaports or airports. Rogozin remarked that negotiations on the issue were slow-going.

He speculated that the navigation system GLONASS might be used for monitoring cargoes going through Ulyanovsk.

“Possibly, we shall be using the GLONASS system to see where this or that container is bound for,” he said, adding it was essential to prevent drugs trafficking through Russian territory.

As for when the talks might be completed, Rogozin said they were drawing to a close and the government bore in mind the deadline for the pullout from Afghanistan. Rogozin refrained from forecasting likely earnings, because it would depend on cargo traffic.

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