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Russia Considers Lending Base for NATO Afghan Operations


U.S. and NATO troops and military supplies could soon be making stopovers in Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Wednesday the details of a draft proposal that would give the United States and other NATO members use of an air base in the city of the Ulyanovsk. NATO forces would be able to use the base to help get troops and supplies into Afghanistan.

Lavrov told Russian lawmakers the plan is not final and that it would not permit U.S. or NATO troops to remain on the base for long stays.

He also told lawmakers the success of the NATO mission in Afghanistan is in Russia's best interests, saying Russia will benefit from a stable Afghanistan with a diminished threat from terrorists and drug-traffickers.

Russia has previously allowed the United States and NATO to use railway routes and air corridors to ferry supplies to Afghanistan. If approved, the draft proposal would give the U.S. and NATO access to a logistical base (in Russia) for the first time.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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