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MOSCOW, April 3 (Itar-Tass) – Over one million people across the globe have died of Afghan heroin since the start of NATO’s Operation Enduring Freedom, as drug production in the country has grown 40 times since then, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, said on Wednesday at a conference on drug situation in Afghanistan.
Ivanov stressed that ahead of a new drastic change in the situation in Afghanistan after the pullout of the bulk of the NATO’s troops, it is necessary to deeply and consistently analyze the situation there and forge a more efficient position of Russia in close cooperation with Afghanistan and the whole world community, and first of all with regional states putting emphasis on Pakistan and Iran.
According to Ivanov, global drug production that has developed over the past 10 years is the main factor behind instability of Afghanistan. “Any unbiased observer has to state the deplorable fact that after a colossal, more than 40-time, growth in amounts of heroin production in Afghanistan as a result of Operation Enduring Freedom launched in 2001, the international community has failed to reverse the situation,” the official stressed.
He said “over one million people in the world have died of Afghan heroin, and over one trillion dollars have been invested in trans-national organized crime from heroin sales,” since the operation started, Ivanov said.