U.S. Strikes Afghanistan Supply Deals

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The United States has struck deals with Russia and neighboring countries allowing it to transport supplies to U.S. troops in Afghanistan through their territory, the head of U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.

Most supplies for U.S. and NATO troops must first pass through northern Pakistan via the Arabian Sea port of Karachi, a treacherous route sometimes closed because of attacks by Islamist militants.

"It is very important as we increase the effort in Afghanistan that we have multiple routes that go into the country," U.S. General David Petraeus, who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told reporters while visiting Pakistan. "We have sought additional logistical routes into Afghanistan from the north. There have been agreements reached, and there are transit lines now and transit agreements for commercial goods and services in particular that include several of the countries in the Central Asian states and also Russia."

Petraeus said he had reached transit deals with Russia and several other Central Asian states on a recent tour of the region. He gave few details, but NATO and U.S. officials have often said they were close to inking agreements with those countries to open up supply lines.