MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. The production and trafficking of Afghan drugs are controlled by a drug mafia that came about due to the US presence in Afghanistan, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said at a briefing on Thursday.
"The Taliban (outlawed in Russia) are a military and political force, they aren’t involved in drug production," he pointed out. "Neither do we have evidence of the Taliban’s involvement in drug trafficking. Both the production and trafficking of drugs are controlled by an international mafia that came about due to the US presence in Afghanistan," Kabulov added.
The envoy emphasized that the Taliban had failed to fulfill their promise to reduce opium cultivation. "The thing is that five to six million people in Afghanistan make a living by cultivating opium. Depriving them of this source of income without giving them anything in return would mean pushing the country to the verge of fierce internal strife. The Taliban don’t have economic resources to offset these losses so drug production isn't decreasing and is even growing in Afghanistan," Kabulov noted.
"The path to resolving this issue lies through stabilizing the situation in the country and ensuring economic development. The entire international community needs to provide assistance in that regard but for it to be achieved, conditions need to be created in the country, there needs to be a legitimate government that all the interested countries will work and cooperate with," the Russian special presidential envoy stressed.