Russia played a trump card in its strategic poker game with the West yesterday by threatening to suspend an agreement allowing Nato to take supplies and equipment to Afghanistan through Russia and Central Asia.
His remarks are likely to alarm Nato commanders because the Taleban have been targeting the supply routes of the alliance this year, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviet Union two decades ago.
Nato imports about 70 per cent of its food, fuel, water and equipment from Pakistan via the Khyber Pass, and flies in much of the rest through Russian airspace via bases in Central Asia. It has not started using the “northern corridor” because the deal – covering nonmilitary supplies and nonlethal military equipment – has yet to be cleared with the Central Asian states involved.
Short version, from Russia to NATO: "GOTCHA!"