State Duma deputies on Friday ratified an agreement allowing France and Spain to use the country as a transit nation for military operations in Afghanistan.
The deal allows the countries to send troops and weapons, as well as vehicle parts and other technical equipment, via Russia, down through Central Asia and into Afghanistan, where U.S.- and NATO-led forces continue to battle the Taliban. The Duma voted 345-57 in favor of the agreement.
The U.S. and Germany have similar deals in place with Russia, and Italy and Sweden are poised to strike an accord in the near future. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said all transit cargos are examined.