Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement today allowing Spain to use its territory to send supplies to Afghanistan for NATO’s military operation there. The Russian Foreign Ministry has also reported that it will allow Germany to use Russian railroads to ship supplies to troops.
The transfer of supplies overland across Europe and into Afghanistan is seen as increasingly important as its regular route through Pakistan’s Khyber Pass is seen to be at risk. Militants have hijacked a growing number of vehicles in recent days, and angered by US drone strikes the opposition political party Jamaat-e Islami has suggested it may ask people to prevent the use of the pass.
Ties between Russia and NATO have worsened in recent days, both over disputes about NATO’s expansion and NATO condemnation of Russia’s actions during a brief August war with prospective NATO member Georgia.