Duma Ratifies Afghanistan Transit Deal With Italy

MOSCOW, February 22 (RIA Novosti) – The lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, on Friday ratified an agreement with Italy on the transit of Italian personnel, arms, ammunition and military equipment to Afghanistan via Russian territory.

The agreement was signed in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on December 3, 2010.

Under the deal, Russia will issue multiple or single transit permits upon request from Italy. Russia reserves the right to reject a transit request, or annul a previously issued permit, if it believes the cargo might pose a threat to its national security.

Passenger rail carriages will be assigned to transport personnel “in the shortest time possible.” Troops and cargo attendants are allowed to wear military uniforms, but carrying weapons or ammunition is prohibited. The personnel will have to comply with Russian laws while on Russian territory.

Weapons, ammunition, equipment and military property won’t be subject to Russian customs duties.


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