Russia and the US-Pakistan Crisis

Worsening relations between the US and Pakistan and the closure of the NATO supply line to Afghanistan through Pakistan have offered new leverage to Russia, but also increase the risk of instability along its neuralgic border region. NATO operations in landlocked Afghanistan are critically dependent on the supply line that runs through Pakistan. Since 2001, most NATO non-lethal supplies bound for Afghanistan have travelled through Pakistan, but since 2008 Western governments developed alternative, albeit more expensive and lengthier, sea, ground and air transportation routes to Afghanistan’s north through territories of the former Soviet Union. This so-called Northern Distribution Network, or NDN, now conveys large quantities of non-lethal supplies from Europe to NATO troops in Afghanistan through Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

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