As East-West ties improve under President Barack Obama, Russia wants to be involved in setting the political, military and intelligence strategy for the war against the Taliban, said Dmitry Rogozin, Russian ambassador to the alliance.
“We want to be inside,” Rogozin said, in English, in an interview in Brussels today. He spoke for the rest of the hour- long session through a Russian translator . . .
“It would certainly be appropriate to look at doing more on Afghanistan in the NATO-Russia Council framework,” alliance spokesman James Appathurai said by telephone in response to Rogozin’s proposals . . .
Russia is saving the U.S. $1 billion annually by allowing its airspace to be used for 15 daily flights by American military cargo planes into Afghanistan, Rogozin said.
Russia wouldn’t close off its airspace if NATO bars it from the war-planning discussions, Rogozin said, refusing to envision “such dramatic scenarios.” (photo: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)