The United States and Russia have achieved a major milestone in our cooperation in Afghanistan with the 1000th supply mission transiting Russian airspace. These flights are the result of a bilateral agreement in support of operations in Afghanistan that was announced during the July 2009 United States-Russia Summit. This agreement provides the U.S. with much needed additional capacity and flexibility. The agreement has been a major success of the “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations and has resulted in the transfer of over 150,000 personnel in support of international efforts in Afghanistan to date. The flights will continue in the weeks and months ahead.
The U.S.-Russia agreement complements a separate NATO-Russia transit arrangement, under which supplies have been shipped by rail through Russia and Central Asia to support ISAF forces in Afghanistan. To date, these shipments total more than 25,000 containers. Taken together, these transit arrangements with Russia have allowed diversification of crucial transportation routes into Afghanistan, significantly improving our ability to support our troops
This is just one part of our broader engagement with Russia on Afghanistan, including counternarcotics cooperation and regionally supported diplomatic efforts to help facilitate Afghan-led reconciliation. We look forward to further expanding our cooperation in the future.