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Russian drugs chief: NATO stiffing us

Nov. 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- NATO is unwilling to work with Russia on stemming the flow of heroin and other drugs from Afghanistan, the head of the Russian narcotics unit said Tuesday.

Viktor Ivanov of the Federal Drug Control Service said the western military alliance has not named a member of his agency to work with NATO and the European Union in Brussels, RIA Novosti reported.

"Drug production in Afghanistan is a threat for the EU states and they (NATO) agree, but say that they cannot work outside the European Union," Ivanov said.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates the Taliban net $150 million a year from drug trafficking. Many other groups in Afghanistan are believed to use trafficking to fund their operations.

Ivanov said Russian and U.S. agencies closed down four major drug labs in Afghanistan in their first joint operation in 2010. Last week, the Russian agency arrested scores of people in the Russian republic of Tatarstan, breaking up what is believed to be a major heroin-trafficking group that brought drugs from Afghanistan into the central Asian republics and Europe.

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