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G20 member states agree to jointly fight drug trafficking - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

04:53 28/06/2010 TORONTO, June 28 (RIA Novosti) - G20 member states agreed to jointly fight global drug trafficking, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.

"Our anti-drug departments will unite their efforts and we have agreed on the active work with the government of Afghanistan to minimize all threats coming from this country," Medvedev told a news conference after the G8 and G20 summits in Canada.

He said the Afghan drug trafficking is a huge problem as the whole country is affected by this phenomenon.

"For the largest part of the population it is the only source of income and it is very hard to fight this, but it does not mean that we must give up saying that this is the only style of living and that is the way they have been living," Medvedev said.

Some 3.5 million Afghan peasants are involved in drug production, which is a major source of income for the impoverished population and Taliban militants alike.

Drug production has increased 40 times in Afghanistan since 2001. An estimated 90% of heroin consumed in Russia is trafficked from Afghanistan via former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. According to expert estimates, Afghan drugs have killed more than 1 million Russians over the past 10 years.

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