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NATO appreciates Russian transit to Afghanistan as "indispensable"

April 02, 2013, 12:58 UTC+3

The southern route is cheaper

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BRUSSELS, April 2 (Itar-Tass) NATO's transportations to Afghanistan via the " northern route", including the Russian territory, account for up to 65 percent despite a higher cost of the Russian transit in comparison with the transit across Pakistan, a high-ranking source in Brussels told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The southern route is cheaper, the source said. Cargoes loaded on trucks are transported across Pakistan and at Karachi port they are re-loaded onto ships, the source said. The shipment of the cargoes is cheaper than their transportation by the northern route, where the main load is transported by rail, the source explained.

Nevertheless, political uncertainty and a physical threat posed by the Pakistani route as well as its instability prompt the Alliance to make additional expenditures so as to ensure uninterrupted supply of cargoes to Afghanistan, the source said.

The Russian transit of NATO cargoes from Afghanistan will become absolutely indispensable in autumn 2013 already when the volume of the transportations in connection with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan reaches its peak, the source said.

According to experts' estimates, the "logistics peak" of the NATO's Afghan campaign is due in a period from September 2013 until October 2014. The Alliance has promised to fully complete the withdrawal of ISAF troops from Afghanistan, which number more than 100,000, by the end of 2014.

The transfer of the bulk of the manpower of the Alliance from the territory of Afghanistan will trigger a considerable demand for transportations. This operation will need a considerable use of the ISAF logistics possibilities and maximum use of the already existing transportation routes, the source said.

Under such conditions the Russian transit route, which ensures a higher level of security, even despite its high cost will become absolutely indispensable, the Brussels source said.


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