Drug Flow to Decrease as US Troops Leave Afghanistan – Official

MOSCOW, November 10 (RIA Novosti) – The withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan will reduce drug trafficking to Russia, Viktor Ivanov, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said on Saturday.

“I am convinced that the flow of [Afghan] drugs to Russia will decrease as soon as Americans withdraw from Afghanistan,” Ivanov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

Ivanov, who had previously criticized the anti-drug efforts of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said he hailed the withdrawal scheduled for the end of 2014.

He also said that more than 100,000 people aged 15-34 died of drug abuse in Russia in 2011.

Ivanov said earlier that 30 tons of drugs, mostly from Afghanistan in the form of heroin, are trafficked into Russia annually.

President Obama has already withdrawn 33,000 troops from Afghanistan, with some 70,000 still remaining in the country.

Afghan drug production increased dramatically after the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban in 2001, and Russia has been one of the most affected countries, with heroin consumption rising steeply.


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