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PRESS RELEASE


Russia Presses for Military Action
Against Afghan Drugs

June 1, 2010 (EIRNS)—Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has been pressing Russia's demand that the United Nations require foreign forces in Afghanistan under its authority to destroy opium crops.

Lavrov returned to the question May 19 in an appearance before the State Duma, saying, "I fully support the need for tougher approaches to stopping the narcotics threat, including the destruction of opium plantings in Afghanistan." Lavrov said he is seeking a UN definition of the Afghan narcotics production "as a threat to world peace and security." That would permit application of sanctions including force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

Lavrov also said that Russia is demanding that NATO contingents be required to destroy opium poppy plantings, and that landowners in Afghanistan who provide land for opium planting be listed as persons subject to UN Security Council sanctions "with all attendant consequences."

Lavrov complained of the tepid reaction to Russian Federal Narcotics Control Service head, Victor Ivanov, in Brussels last March, and pointed out that "a great quantity of this vile stuff is coming in from our neighbors."

While Lavrov did not single out the United States by name, his government has been making direct efforts to enlist the U.S. government to collaborate (an action which would split them from the notoriously pro-dope British). The first offer for an anti-drug partnership between Russia and the U.S. came in spring 2009. It has been followed by numerous meetings between Ivanov, and the leading U.S. anti-drug official, Gil Kerlikowske. During the course of these meetings, the Russians have handed over the names of dozens of drug kingpins, demanding appropriate U.S. action. It appears that absolutely nothing has been done.