PoliTact has been monitoring the politics of the supply line for NATO forces in Afghanistan, and how US has been working to reduce the influence of Pakistan in this regard. According to Reuters, Russian parliament agreed today to allow the use of its territory for the transit of military equipment and personnel meant for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
It should be noted that Russia also has a hand in the possible closure of vital US Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. Thus, Russia has been able to create a new leverage over US, to use in US-Russia bilateral relations. Russia and US have also recently cooperated in conducting joint operation in northern Afghanistan against drug trafficking.
US would use the agreement with Russia, to obtain better cooperation from Pakistan. US-Pakistan relations remain tense in the aftermath of Raymond Davis incident. However, the Russian supply route is longer and arduous and has the potential to deteriorate law and order situation of Central Asian republics, including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, through which it would be passing. The supply routes via Pakistan are the shortest and most efficient for supplying NATO forces in Afghanistan.