Russia urges UN to raise regional groups' role in Afghanistan

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UNITED NATIONS, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations should more actively use the potential of the CSTO and SCO regional security groups to fight the drug threat in Afghanistan, the Russian envoy to the UN said on Wednesday.

Vitaly Churkin said the inability of the Afghan government to combat drug trafficking means that a system of anti-drug and financial security belts, first promoted by Russia, should be created in the region, and that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should be used more fully.

Churkin said drug trade should be blocked as it funds terrorists, and that reinforcing anti-drug and antiterrorist security around Afghanistan would contribute to stabilizing the region.

The CSTO is a post-Soviet security group comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The SCO comprises Russia, Tajikistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and has Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia as observers.

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