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Afghan drug traffic most serious threat to post-Soviet states — Russian official



MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Afghan drug traffic is the most serious threat to Collective Security Treaty Organization member states, Russian presidential commissioner for international cooperation against terrorism and transnational organized crime Alexander Zmeevsky told an international conference in St. Petersburg.
The text of his speech at the conference that discussed drug control laws of CSTO countries is published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website.
“The growing scope of illegal spread of drugs is a serious threat to security, stability and health of people in CSTO member states as well as in other countries in the region,” Zmeevsky said.
Opium production has grown considerably in Afghanistan this year - to 6.4 tons (5.5 tons last year). UN experts warn about further worsening of the situation, the Russian official said.
Against the alarming background, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization demonstratively ignores Russia’s persistent calls for establishing cooperation with the CSTO. “They just refused to talk with us,” he said. In his words, “it is out of the logic of the uncompromising fight against the Afghan drug threat.”
NATO even hinted that the alliance, for ideological reasons, did not consider the CSTO as an equal organization, he added.
"It sounds not only challenging, but also disrespectful, first of all for tens of thousands of their citizens who have become victims of the Afghan heroin narcobusiness expansion in NATO countries," Zmeevsky said.
“Such an approach is unacceptable for us. To protect our citizens (and not only our) from the dangerous drug threat, we will develop cooperation on the basis of equality with interested partners and deepen cooperation within the organization,” the Russian official said.