UPDATE - Russia, Afghanistan reach 'preliminary agreements' on supply of grain, energy resources

UPDATE - Russia, Afghanistan reach 'preliminary agreements' on supply of grain, energy resources

Sides must now sign binding agreements, Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan says

UPDATES WITH STATEMENT FROM MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF AFGHANISTAN

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Wednesday announced that it had reached "preliminary agreements" with Afghanistan on the supply of grain and energy resources.

The sides will now have to sign binding documents for the accords to go into effect, Russia's presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told the state-run TASS news agency in an interview.

According to media reports, Russia may deliver about 1 million tons of gasoline, 1 million tons of diesel, 500,000 tons of liquified natural gas (LNG) and 2 million tons of wheat annually under the agreements.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's interim Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement issued in Kabul that the decision to import quality and cheap commodities from Russia was made due to the poor economic situation, poverty, and inflation of basic necessities in the country.

To achieve this end, an Afghan delegation recently visited Russia.

Russia agreed to supply Afghanistan with basic commodities such as wheat and oil for the next year, according to the statement.

The first consignment of goods will arrive in the coming weeks, it added.

* Additional reporting by Aamir Latif from Karachi

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