And this is interesting although it maybe it should be in the NATO section:
Russia Pledges More NATO Help in Afghanistan
By MARK JOHN, REUTERS, SEVILLE, Spain
Russia pledged a support package to help NATO crush a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan on Feb. 9 while ruling out sending troops to the country it occupied for nine years during the Cold War.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said after meeting NATO counterparts in the Spanish city of Seville that Moscow would provide intelligence and reconstruction aid, and confirmed plans to write off $10 billion of Soviet-era debt.
"Russia has the most vital, visceral interest in ensuring that (the NATO-led) International Security Assistance Force makes a success of stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan," he told a news conference after the talks.
"Clearly we are never going to be able to send our troops into Afghanistan," he said of the country from which Soviet forces pulled out in 1989 after suffering humiliating losses at the hands of Islamic insurgents.
Ivanov noted Russia had already signed agreements with France and Germany to allow them to transport equipment across Russian territory to their troops in Afghanistan and said Moscow was ready to sign a similar accord with Spain.
He also offered unspecified intelligence support to NATO and help in getting the war-shattered Afghan economy -- largely dominated by the illegal drugs trade -- back on its feet.
"Our efforts are going already into mitigating Afghan financial debt to Russia. Its debt is $10 billion," he said.
Moscow agreed in principle last year to write off the debt piled up during its occupation but debates on the precise size of the debt and conditions of the deal have slowed the talks.
Access for Russian businesses to contracts in Afghanistan was a condition for writing off the debt, but Ivanov made no mention of such agreements.
NATO and Russia agreed five years ago to explore how to cooperate militarily but Ivanov acknowledged that joint efforts have been limited to a few projects such as Russian support for NATO anti-terrorist shipping patrols in the Mediterranean.
"Now we have reached a plateau now we are a bit stuck. We both want to know what are the prospects of our relation," he said, calling for renewed discussions this year on how to develop closer ties.
NATO is still perceived with suspicion by many Russians and tensions between Russia and the West have grown amid concerns that Moscow is using its dominance as an energy supplier to wield influence over its European neighbors.