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    MOSCOW, January 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Pyotr Goncharov) - The drug threat looming from Afghanistan will have a long and negative effect on the situation in Central Asian countries, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Nikolai Tanayev believes.

    Recently, Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan, have become "important drug-trafficking objects on the way from Afghanistan", Tanayev said in an interview with RIA Novosti ahead of his visit to Moscow, scheduled for January 20.

    "We think that the drug threat will exist for long, owing to certain objective reasons," the premier pointed out. According to him, Kyrgyzstan is thought by "drug barons" as "the most convenient point to transfer drugs through to Russia and Europe".

    Taking into account this menace, Bishkek is taking serious measures to secure itself and its neighbours, " the Prime Minister said. "Of course these measures will only be efficient if all the interested parties, including Russia, collaborate. In order to achieve these ends our countries' appropriate departments signed a memorandum of understanding and control over narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances late last year," Tanayev underlined.

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