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News > World

Lavrov: NATO Should Help Fight Afghan Drug Threat

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 December 2017

Afghanistan has an estimated 328,000 hectares of opium poppy cultivation, a 63 percent increase in production.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urges North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, to help stem the drug threat posed by Afghanistan.

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"We urge NATO representatives to look for joint approaches to driving out the drug trafficking business and terrorism from Afghan soil," TASS news reported, citing Lavrov.

The plea was made while Lavrov was addressing the Parliamentarians Against Drugs Conference in Moscow.

The foreign minister added that "we cannot agree with those who call for surrender in the face of the onslaught by international drug crime, raise the white flag and open the gate in front of total drug liberalization."

Such an approach, he said, “would be fraught with a disaster unprecedented in scale.”

Afghanistan has an estimated 328,000 hectares of opium poppy cultivation, a 63 percent increase in production.

"Merger of drug trafficking and terrorism is a reality. With the money coming from drug trade it fuels and increases its deadly potential," Lavrov said.

"Drug incomes undermine international security and stability."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov explained that an uptick in Afghanistan's drug production could reflect cause an increase in drug use worldwide.

"The drug problem remains acute and relevant. The diversity of psychotropic substances require creative and common approaches to creating an effective antidote," Lavrov continued.

"We appreciate efforts being exerted by the law enforcers, who stand in the way of drug crime and in doing so often risk their lives," Lavrov said. "It is essential to keep building up their cooperation, enhancing the exchanges of online information and improving the law enforcers' technical base."

The minister said Moscow is urgently calling on NATO to look for joint efforts to fight the threat.

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