MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Foreign intelligence agencies may be behind the mass poisoning by smoking mixtures, known as "spices," in Russia last year, the head of Russia’s federal drug control service said on Tuesday.
"Let’s call a spade a spade. A real throw-in of a new type of drugs with clear qualities of a warfare agent was implemented on the territory of Russia. This data allows considering that [foreign] special services may be linked to this," Viktor Ivanov said.
Last year, Russia put under control 290 new types of drugs, and another 180 in the first half of 2015, Ivanov said. Russia takes the leading position for this figure not only in Europe but also in Asia, he said.
Russia was engulfed by the spread of "spice" drugs in 2014, with more than 700 poisoning cases registered, and around 30 of them resulted in deaths. The smoking mixtures were sold legally in stores and distributed through the Internet as types of medicine or chemicals.
In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved amendments to several laws aimed at combating trafficking and consumption of "spices."