Friday, March 26, 2010

Russia blasts NATO's reluctance to eliminate opium

Press TV

Russia's drug control chief has questioned the US-led alliance's reluctance to eliminate poppy plantations in war-weary Afghanistan.

Viktor Ivanov on Thursday criticized a NATO statement saying the alliance is ready to destroy poppy fields if the UN passes a special resolution.

The statement underscored that NATO has the fate of Afghan poppy farmers in mind.

A NATO spokesman has said that the US-led alliance cannot allow a situation where people in one of the world's poorest nations are left without means of livelihood and receive no compensation.

NATO has rejected Russian calls for it to eradicate poppy fields in Afghanistan. Moscow says Afghan heroin kills 30,000 Russians a year.

According to statistics provided by Ivanov, Russia was the single largest consumer of heroin in 2008.

Moscow blames NATO for the surge in heroin trafficking from Afghanistan to Russia.

The production of opium in Afghanistan has skyrocketed since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

The country now accounts for 95 percent of the world's crop.

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