Russia rejects Nato request for Afghanistan Army assistance

28 May 2012 (Last Updated May 28th, 2012 03:45)

The Russian Government has rejected Nato's request to provide $10m assistance to support the Afghan National Army (ANA) following the withdrawal of coalition forces by the end of 2014.

The Russian Government has rejected Nato's request to provide $10m assistance to support the Afghan National Army (ANA) following the withdrawal of coalition forces by the end of 2014.

Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov revealed the information after the conclusion of the Nato summit on Afghanistan in Chicago. Kabulov said that Nato had requested alliance members to continue support for the Afghan Army beyond 2014.

"For the United States it has already become difficult to bear this burden, they want to share it with NATO partners," he was quoted by the Kommersant daily as saying. "They also hinted that it would be good if Russia allocated $10 million."

Kabulov, who also led the Russian Foreign Ministry's department on Afghanistan, said the nation will not participate in Nato's Afghanistan initiatives, which were revealed at the summit.

“For the United States it has already become difficult to bear this burden, they want to share it with NATO partners. They also hinted that it would be good if Russia allocated $10 million."

"For several years we had been knocking on the door of the ISAF suppliers club," Kabulov added. "But this door was reluctant to open. Now they invited us and started hinting. In response we noted that we've long been rendering aid to Afghanistan."

Moscow was initially hesitant to accept an invitation from Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen to participate in the summit, which focused on the situation in Afghanistan, as well as on the alliances' plans on the deployment of US-led anti missile defence (AMD) shield in Europe.

Repeated failure to reach a settlement over the missile shield issue has worsened the relations between Nato and Russia, but the two sides have coordinated closely during war against the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001.

Russia allowed land and air transport of Afghanistan-bound cargos through its territory. The nation is also expected to sign an agreement with Nato on 'multimodal' cargo transit, which will see non-lethal cargos, delivered initially to Ulyanovsk airport, followed by transfer to Europe, as reported by Kommersant daily.