DUSHANBE, October 17. /TASS/. Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon discussed at his meeting on Friday with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev issues of Afghanistan’s impact on the Central Asian region, situation at the Tajik-Afghan border and other security matters, the Tajik presidential press service said.
The press service said that Rakhmon and Patrushev “stressed the importance of joint efforts in fighting against terrorism, illegal arms trade, cross-border drugs smuggling, as well as strengthening of information security.”
Patrushev, who is currently paying an official visit to Tajikistan, met on Thursday with his Tajik counterpart Abdurakhim Kakharov.
According to the Tajik Security Council, both officials discussed “the situation in Afghanistan in the light of the possible withdrawal of NATO forces from that country” and strengthening of the Tajik-Afghan border to prevent drug trafficking.
Russia has a program aimed to help the Central Asian state to fight drug trafficking. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier in the year that the overall budget of the 2012-2014 Russian program of financial and material and technical assistance to the Tajik Anti-Drug Agency, supervised by the president of Tajikistan, stood at more than $5.4 million.
Russia is one of the largest destinations for heroin from Afghanistan, the world’s main heroin producer. According to the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, Russia seized 2.6 metric tons of Afghan heroin in 2013, which was a 20% increase on the previous year.