Russia to work with BRICS in combating Afghanistan drug smuggling

A soldier from the U.S. Army walks through a poppy field during an operation in the Arghandab River Valley in Kandahar Province. Source: Reuters

A soldier from the U.S. Army walks through a poppy field during an operation in the Arghandab River Valley in Kandahar Province. Source: Reuters

A senior Russian drug control official regards the liquidation of the G8 format as NATO’s unwillingness to bear responsibility for the growth of drug production in Afghanistan.

Russia is going to have to increasingly depend on the BRICS countries and neighbours of drug producing regions, instead of NATO, to battle drug trafficking, the Head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov said.

“We can resolve this global problem only through joint efforts of a bigger number of industrialized countries,” Ivanov told a meeting of the analysts in the run-up to a ministerial meeting of heads of anti-drug agencies. “Of course, I speak of G8 member-states, but as experience proves we need to really rely, first of all, on BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — and countries neighbouring drug producing regions free of obligations and secret decisions of NATO’s military and political bureau.”

He recalled that for fourteen years since the launch of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over one million people in Eurasia, half of them Russian citizens, died of Afghan heroin abuse.

Intensive transit of drugs from Afghanistan estimated at $80 billion a year contributed to a growth of paramilitary drug trafficking groups, a surge of violence and involvement of several millions of residents of the region into this process, Ivanov said, adding that in general, this deformed the political landscape of countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.

Ivanov regards the liquidation of the G8 format as NATO’s unwillingness to bear responsibility for the growth of drug production in Afghanistan.  He said preparations were on to work out a joint G8 strategy to combat the global narcotic smuggling menace. “However, upon the G8 partners’ initiative this format has been unilaterally destroyed, and, as you already know, yesterday at a reduced G7 session in The Hague, US and NATO focus on Russia’s isolation has been confirmed,” Ivanov added.

Ivanov drew attention to the fact that the liquidation of the G8 format by western countries occurred at the same moment when Russia within the framework of its G8 presidency named the issue of fighting drug trafficking as the main priority.

“This cannot be considered otherwise as a radical method of the USA and NATO to avoid shouldering responsibility for the 40-fold explosive growth of drug production in Afghanistan since the moment of occupation of this long-suffering country by US and NATO troops in 2001,” Ivanov stressed. 

First published by Itar-Tass.

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