Russia Keeps Afghan Drugs Off
Europe: UN Anti-Drug Boss

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) — Russia is efficiently working to curb Europe-bound Afghan drug traffic, said Antonio Maria Costa, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, and Executive Director of the UNODCCP, or UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. He made the statement while in conference with Victor Cherkesov, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service chief.

"Whatever the world may be doing against it, the steadily mounting Afghan drug traffic remains one of the worst global threats," points out the Drug Service public relations center.

The UN functionary enthusiastically approved Federal Drug Service efforts against drug trafficking and addiction.

"To deliver hard blows on trafficking and the entire drug arrangements is our duty," replied Mr. Cherkesov.

Russia has just drafted its federal comprehensive program to combat drug abuse and trafficking for 2005-09. It aims to reduce drug and mood-changer abuse by 16 to 20 per cent of the 2003 level, by the year 2010, Mr. Cherkesov said during the conference.

As experts are forecasting, program implementation will save 600 to 800 thousand people from the drug danger, added our informants at the Federal Drug Service.

Russian law enforcement agencies confiscated close on 130 tons of drugs, mood-changers and other strong preparations last year, announced Mr. Cherkesov.

Drug Service officers alone confiscated slightly more than 102 tons out of the whole amount, including four tons of heroin-2.5-fold more than in 2003, say service PR.

Roughly 58,000 drug-related crimes were successfully detected last year. 75 per cent of those crimes are qualified as grave or exceptionally grave.