#32 - JRL 2009-221 - JRL Home
USA won't succeed in Afghanistan unless it tackles heroin problem, says Russia

Moscow, 1 December: In the opinion of Russian special services, the USA, which is building up its military grouping in Afghanistan, should give this grouping a wide mandate to destroy opium poppy crops and laboratories for the production of heroin.

"Until now there has been no tangible progress in this respect," a senior source in the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSNK) told Interfax.

"More than 90 per cent of heroin in the world is produced, as it has always been, on Afghan territory.

Unfortunately, American troops have not paid due attention to the problem of heroin in the drug-producing state in which they are deployed," the source said.

"We have not been able to see any systemic work on the part of the US army or armies of other countries to counter drug trafficking on Afghan territory," the FSNK spokesman said.

According to him, in Afghanistan, "the USA is building up forces to fight terrorism, but one can't conquer terrorism unless one fights the production and smuggling of heroin".

According to the FSNK, up to 2.5m people use drugs in Russia.

Heroin comes to Russia from Afghanistan via Central Asian countries.

Up to 30,000 people die in Russia every year because of drugs.

The FSNK is a special service that coordinates the fight against drugs in Russia.

It numbers 40,000 staff and has its own special purpose unit. (Passage omitted)

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