Russia allows NATO to use airport for Afghan drawdown


Back in the 80s, cocaine was king, Eddie Murphy was funny and NATO and Russia were enemies.

Now the party is over, Eddie Murphy’s movies tank and NATO needs Russia’s help.

Russia is allowing NATO to use an airport at Ulyanovsk, about 560 miles west of Moscow, as a transit center for nonlethal cargo being taken out of Afghanistan as part of the drawdown, according to Russian media reports.

“The Russian government and the Russian Foreign Ministry have, meanwhile, reiterated that the Vostochny airport will not be used to transport NATO’s military supplies to Afghanistan, and that Ulyanovsk will not be used for the deployment of NATO troops,” according to the Voice of Russia.

The cargo will be transported by Russian companies, Voice of Russia reported.

Communists are worried that NATO will establish a base at Ulyanovsk, but no construction projects required for such a base are planned at the airport, according to Read Russia.

In allowing the transit center, Russia is getting someting out of this — leverage over the U.S., according to Joshua Foust, of the American Security Project, a national security think tank in Washington.

“We need Russian cooperation to get the full NDN [Northern Distribution Network] running;  otherwise we wind up with a bottleneck at the Caspian trying to ship containers from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan,” Foust said in an email. “The NDN remains vastly more expensive and less convenient than Pakistan for shipping equipment out.  But now Russia has a base arrangement to hold over our heads in the process.”


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