Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010

Russia blames Nato for heroin surge from Afghanistan

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Moscow

Afghan in field of poppies
About 90% of the world's heroin supply originates in Afghanistan

The head of Russia's federal drug control agency has accused Nato of not doing enough to curb the production of heroin in Afghanistan.

Victor Ivanov said at least 30,000 people died in Russia every year from heroin, 90% of it from Afghanistan.

He blamed the Obama administration for ending a military drive to destroy opium poppy crops in Afghan fields.

The US said the practice was alienating farmers and driving them to support the Taliban.

This is not the first time Mr Ivanov has lambasted Nato for failing to stamp out drug production in Afghanistan.

He said leaving poppy fields guaranteed immunity for drug producers.

Russia says the consequence has been a flood of cheap heroin in to Central Asia and Russia.

Mr Ivanov said drug production in Afghanistan was now a global destabilising factor, particularly for Russia.

Russia is believed to have around five million drug addicts, half of whom are addicted to heroin.

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