Russian Minister On Russia's Assistance To Afghanistan

Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that the Russian Emergencies Ministry intended to contribute to the restoration of health centres in Afghanistan next year. Besides, he recalled, Russia is already taking part in the restoration of engineering facilities, in particular, the tunnel of the Salang pass. This work is being conducted in conjunction with France, Great Britain, and Afghan constructors and is to be completed next February. As to the humanitarian deliveries to Afghanistan, Sergei Shoigu remarked that cooperation with all international organisations and the countries involved in the joint restoration efforts would be continued. Touching upon the cooperation with Uzbekistan in humanitarian supplies, the minister noted that aid to Afghanistan would be delivered via this country, too, but not without difficulties. Several months ago, he said there were no concentration of important humanitarian cargoes in Uzbekistan, whereas there are some 80,000 tonnes of such cargoes in Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. Sergei Shoigu expressed the hope that organisational obstacles in cooperation with Uzbekistan would be eliminated and efforts resumed in this direction.