|Russia and the CIS News Digest
V. Ivanov Kicks Off Forum Against Afghan Heroin
June 7 (EIRNS)The International Forum on Afghan Drug Production: Challenge to the World Community, with its main sessions scheduled for June 9-10 in Moscow, got an early start today with a Berlin-Moscow telebridge, addressed by Russian Federal Narcotics Control Service chief Victor Ivanov. He took part from Berlin, where he was attending a related event on Central Asia and Afghanistan.
In the teleconference, and in TV interviews for TV Center and NTV, Ivanov hammered at the need for Afghanistan-origin narcotics to be declared an international security threat. Afghanistan today produces double the amount of opium which the entire world produced ten years ago, said Ivanov. These drugs, he said, have become a destabilizing factor for Russia and Europe. Ivanov warned that Europe, with narcotics consumption of 711 tons opium-equivalent annually, is in the same boat as Russia, which consumes 549 tons. He underscored the death toll: 1 million people in the past decade, one-third of them Russians.
The teleconference was chaired by RIA Novosti senior editor Svetlana Mironyuk, who announced it as the kick-off of the International Forum. RIA Novosti is conducting the forum, for which Ivanov chairs the organizing committee. Presenting the concept of the conference, Mironyuk said she agreed with Ivanov that "the solution lies in the system of international relations, in the position different nations take."
The German conference was co-sponsored by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Russian Foreign and Defense Policy Council (SVOP). Officials of the two organizations, Alexander Rahr and Sergei Karaganov, respectively, were among the speakers in Potsdam, followed by Ivanov today in Berlin.
Another Russian government official, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, yesterday took the Afghanistan dope campaign to the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, a conference sponsored by the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), as well. In the presence of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and officials from around Asia, Sergei Ivanov called narcotics production and trafficking in and from Afghanistan "a threat to world peace and security," and stated that international forces present in the country "ought to deal with this directly, and move to actively fighting this threat."
LaRouche Welcomes Ivanov Initiative
See In-Depth for "LaRouche Supports Russian Drive for Afghanistan Opium Eradication," Lyndon LaRouche's greeting and memorandum for the Moscow International Forum.