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Russia's anti-drug watchdog calls for more UN action in Afghanistan

© RIA Novosti . Anton Denisov / Go to the mediabankViktor Ivanov
Viktor Ivanov - Sputnik International
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The head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service proposed on Friday expanding the UN anti-drug mission in Afghanistan.

The head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service proposed on Friday expanding the UN anti-drug mission in Afghanistan.

"We support the broadening of a UN [anti-drug] mission in Kabul because it is too restricted at the moment," Viktor Ivanov said.

Russia was the biggest donator to the mission last year, giving $7 million, Ivanov said.

Ivanov had in the past blamed NATO for not doing enough to stamp out drug production in Afghanistan, which has increased almost tenfold since the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban in 2001.

At least 30,000 people die in Russia every year from heroin abuse. About 90% of heroin in Russia is smuggled from Afghanistan via the former-Soviet states of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Drug trafficking is a major source of income for Afghanistan's impoverished rural population, and also for Taliban militants.

MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti)

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