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    In this picture taken on Monday, April 21, 2014, Afghan farmers slice open the green poppy bulbs, swollen with raw opium, the main ingredient in heroin, on a poppy field in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan

    NATO Peacekeeping Mission Ignores Afghan Drug Production

    © AP Photo / Abdul Khaliq
    Asia & Pacific
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    The head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov said that the drug production of heroin and hashish in Afghanistan peacefully coexists with the NATO coalition forces deployed there.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Officials of the US-led NATO coalition peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan are neglecting drug production in the country, leaving the issue to the Afghan authorities, the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service said on Thursday.

    In September, Afghanistan signed a long-term security agreement with the United States and NATO, authorizing that 9,800 US and at least 2,000 NATO troops be stationed in the country after the end of 2014.

    "The drug production of heroin and hashish in Afghanistan peacefully coexists with the NATO coalition forces deployed there. They [NATO coalition officials] ignore it, officially stating that it is the Afghan government's problem," Viktor Ivanov said.

    Ivanov also accused NATO and European Union officials of neglecting the problem, stating that these drugs cause great damage, claiming the lives of EU and US citizens as well.

    Russia, in its turn, is doing everything possible to prevent shipments of drugs from Afghanistan, Ivanov stressed. In particular, Russia's Federal Drug Control Service conducts joint operations with the Afghan government on identifying the laboratories producing heroin.

    In addition to its vast mineral and gas reserves, Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world's supply of drugs. The United Nations estimated that in 2014 Afghanistan produced 6,400 tons of drugs, which is 900 tons more than the total 2013 production.

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    Tags:
    drug production, heroin, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), Viktor Ivanov, Afghanistan, Russia
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