Russia said Friday that it will start allowing U.S. military supplies for Afghanistan to cross its territory, while Kyrgyzstan said it will not reverse its decision to close a key U.S. air base.
Kyrgyzstan's National Security Council chief appeared to dash any U.S. hopes of securing a last-minute reprieve for the Manas air base. Russia's move is unlikely to make up for the loss of the base, home to air operations like refueling and medical evacuation.
But Russia's opening of routes for non-lethal supplies could provide an important alternative to roads through Pakistan that are increasingly threatened by militant attacks.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov did not specify if Russia would provide land or air corridors but the U.S. and other NATO have mostly been interested in land routes that would let them to more cheaply move bulky cargo.