MOSCOW (Agencies) - Russia said it was ready to increase international cooperation over the Afghanistan crisis Friday as US President Barack Obama announced new Afghan strategy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told an international conference on Afghanistan in Moscow that his country was prepared to work more with the Nato military alliance, which faces a mounting threat from the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies. Russia already allows the transit of non-lethal material through its territory. "We are ready to examine other kinds of constructive cooperation," he said. Meanwhile, the head of the British Army is ready to send up to 2,000 extra troops to Afghanistan amid fears that the US-led mission will struggle without significant reinforcements. General Sir Richard Dannatt told The Times on Friday that elements of 12 Mechanised Brigade - which had been training for deployment to Iraq but were later stood down - had been "earmarked for Afghanistan". John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, said that Europe must play a bigger role and that it was also in Britain's interests "to do more". General Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, said that there were no plans to send the whole brigade of about 4,000 troops, which would take the British presence to more than 12,000. He indicated that the increase, subject to political approval, could take the total to "somewhere in between" that figure and the present troop strength of 8,300. Defence sources said that a rise of 1,700 to 2,000 troops was viewed as "the uppermost ceiling". Senior Nato diplomatic sources told The Times that no meaningful offers were expected from any alliance member apart from Britain. Italy and Poland are planning to send small increases but only during the campaign for the Afghan presidential election, due to be held on August 20. Gen Dannatt made it clear in his interview that although a number of military options were being considered to boost Britain's presence in Afghanistan, sending an extra brigade would put too much strain on forces. "If we were to send another 4,000 . . . there would be a risk of replicating the pressures on the Army that we are trying to avoid." He said that he agreed with Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, who said recently that he could not support any move to engage in "a one-for-one" movement to Afghanistan under which the 4,000 troops being withdrawn from Iraq by July 31 would be transferred to Helmand province. He added: "Improving security in Afghanistan will be dictated by having more boots on the ground. I don't mind whether the boots will be American, British or Afghan." Afghanistan was going to be "a marathon campaign, not a sprint" and the members of the Armed Forces needed time off after serving in two campaigns simultaneously, General Dannatt said. "They and their families must have a bit of a life." Hutton also gave a broad hint in a speech that Britain was considering sending more troops. " Europe must do more, and it is in our interest to do more." A Ministry of Defence source said any decision would be based on advice from the military. "If the clear advice . . . is that we need more people to keep our troops safe, we will make a judgment based on this."