Karzai: Russia in defense deal with Afghanistan

By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan

“As a friendly government to Afghanistan, Russia is ready to offer its cooperation to an independent and a democratic Afghanistan,” the statement quoted Medvedev as saying.

The statement did not say how the two countries would cooperate.

A spokesman at the Kremlin in Russia said he did not immediately have any details about the exchange between Medvedev and Karzai.

Moscow would have little to gain if the U.S. and NATO mission to defeat the Taliban and install a strong central Afghan government failed. The relationship between NATO and Russia has been delicate for years, but Russia in November allowed Spain and Germany to use Russian rail lines to ship supplies for their forces in Afghanistan.

The correspondence from Karzai