The Russian Government has approved a new transit deal with Nato, to allow the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to transport supplies to and from Afghanistan through Russian territory.

The new extended arrangements were agreed at the recent two-day Lisbon summit of the 28-member military alliance.

According to the new deal, Nato can ship armoured vehicles and other equipment from the region back to Europe using the same route via Central Asia and Russia.

The existing agreement had only allowed the transport of non-lethal supplies such as food and fuel.

Transfer of security responsibility to Afghan security forces from the ISAF will begin in 2011 and will be completed by the end of 2014.

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