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Lavrov urges NATO to fight drugs in Afghanistan

RIA Novosti

18:10 07/09/2011 MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized NATO's refusal to join anti-drug efforts with the post-Soviet security alliance in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Lavrov was referring to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which unites Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which are transit countries for illicit drugs trafficking from Afghanistan into Europe.

"We want NATO and the CSTO to cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking, given that NATO is operating inside Afghanistan and the CSTO has troops all along the Afghan borders," Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow.

He said NATO had been ignoring the CSTO's appeals for joint efforts for nearly five years, which he said did not help improve bilateral cooperation.

Lavrov also said the fight against the drug threat was very realistic for Russia and its neighbors in Central Asia. He called for the destruction of poppy fields, which he said the Americans deemed necessary for Columbia but were not sure about it for Afghanistan.

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