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Drug czar wants more help from U.N.

March 18, 2011 at 7:37 AM

MOSCOW, March 18 (UPI) -- The head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service says he wants the United Nations to increase its anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan.

Russia was the largest contributor to the U.N's anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan last year, giving $7 million, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"We support the broadening of a U.N. (anti-drug) mission in Kabul because it is too restricted at the moment," said Viktor Ivanov.

Ivanov previously criticized NATO for not doing more to stamp out drug production in Afghanistan, which has increased nearly tenfold since 2001.

About 30,000 people die from heroin abuse in Russia annually and about 90 percent of the heroin is smuggled from Afghanistan through the former Soviet-era states of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Afghanistan's poor rural population and the Taliban depend on the drug trade as a major source of income, the report said.

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