Afghan heroin `threat to progress in Russia`: Medvedev

The flood of heroin into Russia from war-torn Afghanistan is a key threat to the country`s progress, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Wednesday, unveiling a new anti-drug policy.

Updated: Jun 09, 2010, 18:22 PM IST

Moscow: The flood of heroin into Russia
from war-torn Afghanistan is a key threat to the country`s
progress, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Wednesday,
unveiling a new anti-drug policy.

"Drug addiction is a serious threat to the development
of our country, to the health of our nation," Medvedev said at
an international forum against Afghan drug production in
Moscow.
"To fight this threat we have prepared a new government
anti-drug strategy until 2020."

Russia has voiced mounting alarm at the flow of drugs
trafficked from Afghanistan through its porous southern
borders with ex-Soviet Central Asia, slamming US and NATO
policies in the war-torn region, which shy away from
eradicating poppy fields.

Over 30,000 Russians died last year from abusing Afghan
heroin, according to the federal drug control agency.

"Youths have been the main victims of the narco-threat,"
Medvedev said on Russian television.

"That the production of opiates has doubled in the last
10 years, speaks to the scale of the calamity. And, sadly,
Afghanistan is the principal supplier of these opiates."
War-ravaged Afghanistan is the world`s largest heroine
producer -- its potential gross export of opium worth USD 2.8
billion last year, according to the UN drugs agency.

PTI