Russia Agrees to Let US Use Airspace for Afghan War

Deal on supply lines forged ahead of Obama's Russian visit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2009 5:03 AM CDT
Presidents Obama and Medvedev will sign a " joint agreement on military transit to Afghanistan" next week, according to Medvedev's top foreign policy adviser.   (AP Photo/Azamat Imanaliev)
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(Newser) – Russia has agreed to let American planes transporting troops and equipment to Afghanistan fly over its airspace, the BBC reports. The deal will be officially announced next week when President Obama visits Moscow. Volatility affecting supply lines through Pakistan and Central Asia made securing such an agreement one of Obama's key prorities ahead of his upcoming Russian visit.

Negotiators are still trying to hash out  US-Russian agreements on trade and nuclear disarmament. Joe Biden will visit Georgia and Ukraine after the summit to signal that the US doesn't plan to abandon them. "We’re not going to reassure or give or trade anything with the Russians regarding NATO expansion or missile defense," Obama's top Russia adviser says.