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Russian drug service to open mission in Afghanistan

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YEKATERINBURG, January 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Federal Drug Control Service plans to open a mission in Afghanistan in the first half of 2006, the deputy head of the service said Thursday.

Vladimir Zubrin said, "During the first half of 2006, the FDCS will open a mission in Afghanistan where a drugs control officer and a small team will work," he said.

The service recently signed a memorandum on the issue with its U.S. counterpart, the Drug Enforcement Agency. The mission will cooperate with the U.S. drugs agency, and with Russian law enforcement agencies, the official said.

Similar missions are also planned in the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, which border on Afghanistan, one of the world's largest producers of narcotics, Zubrin said.

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