MOSCOW, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russia is interested in the creation of a NATO logistic hub on its territory, because such a hub would benefit the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
During his visit to the central Russian city of Ulyanovsk, where the stop-over base has been slated to open, Putin voiced his support to the base, which would help NATO to deliver consignments to and from Afghanistan.
"We are interested in it. We are interested in calm on our southern borders (near Afghanistan)," Putin told the airborne forces in Ulyanovsk.
He elaborated that Russia was not going to participate in the combat operations in Afghanistan, but Moscow needed order in that country.
"Now there is a presence of the NATO troops in Afghanistan. They need help. Let them keep fighting there... and we will help them," Putin said.
Meanwhile, the president stressed that Russia would like to help deliver NATO's consignments rather than to send troops to the country.
"It is a pity that all the states participating in Afghan events are thinking how to escape from there," Putin said.
He added that the task of the Russian authorities was to create no situations asking the involvement of Russian armed forces in the combat operations in Afghanistan.
Last week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved an order that allows the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to move their consignments from and to Afghanistan via a base in Ulyanovsk by rail, road and air.
The order was in contrast with a previous permission, which sanctioned only ground transit.
However, the order imposes a list of conditions, including customs clearance, availability of official certificates and other requirements which ensure the goods' transparency on Russia's territory.
Russia's opposition has protested against such a NATO base on the Russian territory, but the government says the base is for transit purpose only and will not be transformed into a NATO military base.