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Russia slams NATO on Afghan drugs

23 May 2010 17:10

Russian officials have again censured NATO`s failure to stamp out Afghanistan’s huge opium trade, voicing Moscow’s frustration over the alliance’s negligence.

Citing lack of cohesion within NATO against the backdrop of dwindling support for combating drug trafficking in Afghanistan, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said Russia “is losing 30,000 lives a year to the Afghan drug trade, and a million people are addicts,” AP reported.

“This is an undeclared war against our country,” he emphasized. “We are obviously very dissatisfied with the lack of attention from NATO and the United States to our complaints about this problem.”

In an apparent rebuke over US policy in fighting narcotics trade in Afghanistan as compared to Washington’s approach towards the similar issue in South America, Rogozin also said that the US was waging a drug war in Colombia because that was the primary source of cocaine that goes to America, yet it has failed to give due attention to the scourge of trafficking in Afghanistan.

“But in the case of the heroin which goes to Russia, they are doing practically nothing,” he insisted, complaining that it was not the proper way to treat “your friends and partners.”

Meanwhile, Viktor Ivanov, director of Russia’s Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics said his country has handed over several data on Afghan and Central Asian drug dealers to US drug enforcement chief Gil Kerlikowski at their fourth meeting in less than a year, Reuters reported.

Moscow is prepared to take legal action against the suspected drug barons, he said.

Ivanov added that Russia accounted for a fifth of the world’s market of opiates, estimated at a total of $65 billion.

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