28 Feb 2010

Russia blames NATO for drug surge

7:48 am on 28 February 2010

Russia has accused NATO of not doing enough to curb the production of heroin in Afghanistan.

Federal drug control agency chief Victor Ivanov said at least 30,000 people die in Russia every year from heroin, 90% of it from Afghanistan.

He blamed the Obama administration for ending a military drive to destroy opium poppy crops in Afghan fields.

The US said the practice was alienating farmers and driving them to support the Taliban.

Russia says the consequence has been a flood of cheap heroin in to Central Asia and Russia.

Mr Ivanov said drug production in Afghanistan was now a global destabilising factor, particularly for Russia.

The BBC reports Russia is believed to have around five million drug addicts, half of whom are addicted to heroin.