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PRESS RELEASE


Lavrov Denounces ‘Drug Liberalization’ as Disaster

Dec. 4, 2017 (EIRNS)—An international conference drawing parliamentarians as well as non-governmental organizations from 43 countries, is taking place today in Russia’s state Duma. The conference, "Members of Parliament vs. Drugs," includes participation of the United Nations and Russia’s National Anti-Drug Union which is also an official co-organizer of the conference.

Speaking at the conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on NATO to cooperate in fighting drug trafficking in Afghanistan.

"We urge NATO representatives to look for joint approaches to driving out the drug trafficking business and terrorism funded by it from Afghan soil,"

the minister said reported TASS.

Slamming the idea of drug liberalization, Lavrov argued,

"[W]e cannot agree with those who call for surrender in the face of the onslaught by international drug crime, raise the white flag and open the gate in front of total drug liberalization. Such an approach would be fraught with a disaster unprecedented in scale.

"Merger of drug trafficking and terrorism is a reality. With the money coming from drug trade, it fuels and increases its deadly potential,"

Lavrov said.

"Drug incomes undermine international security and stability.

"We appreciate efforts being exerted by the law enforcers, who stand in the way of drug crime and in doing so often risk their lives. It is essential to keep building up their cooperation, enhancing the exchanges of online information, and improving the law enforcers’ technical base,"

said Lavrov.

Lavrov was seconded by the Second Deputy Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan Parliament, Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai:

"Since drugs are a global issue, an effective fight against the drug threat requires active efforts by all the interested states. I urge all to assist Afghanistan in this fight,"

he said.

"Years of wars, the lack of security and economic stagnation are the reasons why Afghanistan is now considered to be the largest manufacturer of drugs,"

he said, stressing that drug crops are cultivated in areas controlled by terror groups and the Taliban, from where drugs are smuggled to other countries of Central Asia and Iran, while drug cultivation is prohibited in areas controlled by the government.

In addition to Lavrov, speakers include: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov; Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Rashid Alimov; Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova; parliamentary chairmen from Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Ecuador; heads of the State Duma party factions; parliamentary vice speakers from various countries; and representatives of foreign and Russian non-profit organizations.