The Russian ORT and RTR TV channels interrupted their programmes to broadcast the President’s televised address, in which Vladimir Putin laid out Russia’s position on the projected anti-terrorist mission in Afghanistan.
Russia offered its airspace for aircraft carrying humanitarian cargoes to the region of the operation. Mr Putin said this decision had been agreed with Russia’s allies in Central Asia, adding that they shared Russia’s position and would allow using their airports for humanitarian aid deliveries.
Mr Putin said that Russia was open to broader cooperation with the participants of the counter-terrorist operation, but the nature and scale of such cooperation would depend on Russia’s relations with those nations and the level of understanding in the sphere of fighting international terrorism.
The President also said that Russia planned to expand cooperation with the internationally recognised Afghan government, headed by Burhanuddin Rabbani, and to provide assistance to it by delivering weapons and military hardware.