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Russia: NATO can’t fight Afghan drugs

NATO has had no effective role in fighting the massive drug production in Afghanistan, Russian Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov says.

Since NATO began its operations in Afghanistan, the country’s heroin production has grown 40 times, Ivanov said on Friday.

“Clearly, therefore, the effect of the stay of the NATO military contingent in Afghanistan is, in this sense, zero, if not negative,” he added in his interview with the state Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper.

Ivanov criticized the alliance for giving the drug issue the lowest priority at its November summit in Lisbon.

“Drugs are only mentioned twice, and then in passing, offset by commas. This says that in such an important policy document there was no room for measures to combat drug trafficking,” he said.

Considering NATO’s disinterest in the drug problem, and the flow of cheap Afghan heroin to Russia, Moscow has increased its efforts in fighting the crisis within Afghanistan.

Last month, Russia increased the number of its anti-drug officers in Kabul. It has also bolstered its cooperation with the European Union to fight the crisis.

Much of the heroin produced in Afghanistan is trafficked to Russia. The trend has drastically increased drug consumption in Russia making it the consumer of 20 percent of the world’s heroin.

Official figures show that between 30,000 to 40,000 thousand Russians die due to drug addiction every year.

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