MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is concerned over spreading terrorism and drug threats from northern Afghanistan to neighboring Central Asian states, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Russia has expressed concerns over the spreading terrorism and drug threats from northern Afghanistan to bordering Central Asian states, which are Russia’s partners in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement was made following talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and the US delegation in Moscow.
At talks, the sides discussed the development of the situation in Afghanistan, the process of transferring responsibility for security in Afghanistan to Afghan forces and the withdrawal of international troops.
Russia remains highly concerned about the persisting threat of terrorism and drug trafficking from Afghanistan, particularly after international combat troops leave in 2014.
According to Russia’s federal drug control watchdog, heroin production in Afghanistan rose 40-fold in the past decade, with opium poppy plantations currently covering 130,000 hectares in the southern Central Asian country. The drug business has been a major source of income for Taliban warlords, bringing them hundreds of millions of dollars every year.