Lavrov Says U.S. Transit to Start Soon

The transit via Russia of nonmilitary supplies for NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan will start within days, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

The United States wants Russia to provide it with transit routes to supply NATO-led forces fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, particularly after militants attacked truck convoys on a supply route through Pakistan.

"We quickly confirmed that we are ready to do this, as it fully conforms with the agreements that have bee made with NATO, and literally within days such a transit will take place," Lavrov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman said the development would help U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. "If the reports are true, then that is to be welcomed," said spokesman Gordon Duguid.