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Lavrov slams US’ unwillingness to destroy Afghan poppy fields

October 10, 2011, 11:59 UTC+3
Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov has strongly criticized the U.S. authorities’ unwillingness to destroy poppy fields in Afghanistan
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MOSCOW, October 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov has strongly criticized the U.S. authorities’ unwillingness to destroy poppy fields in Afghanistan.

“It’s difficult to perceive why our American partners do not want the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to engage in this (in destroying poppy fields),” he told the MDG-6 Forum that opened in Moscow on Monday.

“This issue has already been remaining unresolved for several years, while this is the key issue in the fight against drug trafficking and as a result against the spread of HIV/AIDS,” he said.

“The tragedy of this situation is that in Europe young people from a well-to-do social environment become victims of the disease (AIDS) as a result of the spread of drug addiction,” Lavrov said expressing confidence that “it is necessary to counteract not only drug abuse but also the spread.”

“We attach special importance to strong and radical increase in the efficiency of efforts of the international community in the fight against drug threat emanating from Afghanistan,” he said.

“Over the past ten years the production and export of drugs from Afghanistan increased several times over to all possible markets – Central Asia, the CIS, Europe and something is trafficked to the United States as well,” the diplomat said referring to the U.S. arguments saying that destruction of Afghanistan’s poppy fields would not resolve the problem as would create difficulties for agricultural producers.

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