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NATO’s report on operation in Afghanistan doesn’t show actual situation — Russian diplomat

December 19, 2014, 9:26 UTC+3
In early December, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg submitted to the United Nations Security Council a report of the results of the 13-year presence of the ISAF in Afghanistan
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© EPA/JALIL REZAYEE

UNITED NATIONS, December 18. /TASS/. NATO’s final report to the United Nations Security Council on the international operation in Afghanistan does not reflect the actual situation in that country and sidesteps key problems facing it, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

In early December, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg submitted to the United Nations Security Council a report of the results of the 13-year presence of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and informed about further plans of presence in that country. On December 12, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution approving a new non-combat mission, Decisive Support.

“The brief document submitted to us has no analysis of the security situation, but the International Security Assistance Force /ISAF/ was tasked to help improve the situation in this sphere,” he told a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the Afghan settlement. “Stringy factology is presented in the NATO secretary-general’s report in a way that might make unsuspecting public think that the mandate has been completely fulfilled, with key problems solved. But it has nothing to do with the real state of things in the region.”

He said that since the beginning of 2014, militants in Afghanistan had killed by 20% more civilians and Afghan army and police officers than in 2013. “The militants' behavior is increasingly audacious. They often seize entire provinces,” Churkin said, adding that the number of terrorist attacks “nearly doubles,” which demonstrated the “serious potential” of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda threats.

“The report has no concrete information about what the ISAF has really done to help Afghan law enforcers and security agencies in the anti-drug direction,” he said. “So, we have to ascertain - nothing. The abstruse deduction that more should be done in this sphere is late by more than a decade.”

As of today, drug production and trafficking is still the most pressing problem in Afghanistan, the Russian diplomat stressed. “The latest data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime /UNODC/ are shocking. Thus, areas under opium poppy has expanded by seven percent as compared with 2013, opium poppy yield has increased by nine percent, and even by 27% in southern territories, drug production has augmented by 17%,” he said.

He noted the ISAF’s “absolute inactivity” on drug-related matters and expressed bewilderment that this problem was out of sight “in the context of the bilateral US-Afghan security agreement.” “We are extremely disappointed that NATO countries have for years been ignoring pragmatic proposals from the Collective Security Treaty Organization /CSTO/ concerning joint efforts in this sphere. And, the Alliance is seeking to prove its “usefulness’! We have to admit that NATO has lost such an opportunity on a really important matter,” Churkin said.

Russia “is building up efforts against illegal production and trafficking of drugs,” both in the format of regional structures, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and in the format of bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan,” he underscored. Russia, in his words, continued its assistance in training anti-drug officers.

Infographics Opium production in Afghanistan over 20 years Opium production in Afghanistan over 20 years
Afghanistan has surpassed a record high of opium production, according to the 2014 report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Infographics by TASS

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