By David Brunnstrom
BRUSSELS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - NATO urged Russia on Wednesday to expand its role in Afghanistan, including by equipping and training Afghan security forces fighting the Taliban.
While reiterating a call on European allies to step up their commitments in the country as the United States weighs a further boost in forces, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it was also in Russia's interests to do more.
He said agreements allowing transit of military supplies to Afghanistan via Russia could be expanded.
"Next, Russia could provide equipment for the Afghan security forces. Thirdly, Russia could provide training. These are just some examples. I think we should explore in a joint effort how we could further Russian engagement," Rasmussen said. "I know from the Russians that they are interested in a stronger engagement and we have to find ways and means because basically Afghanistan is one of the areas in which we share interests with Russia," he told a monthly news conference.
Russia has said it fully backs U.S.-led efforts against the Taliban although it would not send its own soldiers to fight in the country where Moscow lost a 10-year war in the 1980s.
Rasmussen said he was pleased by the improvement in relations between NATO and Russia since a freeze imposed by the alliance after last year's war between Georgia and Russia, even if there were still "fundamental areas on which we disagree".
"But we can create a web of cooperation that is strong enough to survive these differences. We have to make NATO-Russia cooperation too good to lose," he said.
GenSek NATO zatražio je od Rusije da se aktivno uključi u rat u Avganistanu tako što će da naoružava i obučava vladine snage za borbu protiv Talibana.