MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – Russia opposes the U.S. decision to enlarge its military force in Afghanistan especially as it will do little to fight the drugs situation, Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov told a press conference in Moscow.
“The enlargement of the 200,000-strong military force leads to further escalation of tensions and inability of Afghan residents to raise regular agricultural crops. In fact, they are pushed to produce opium poppy,” he said.
The highest concentration of NATO servicemen in Afghanistan is being accompanied with the highest concentration of opium poppy, he said.
“That situation causes doubts about the anti-terrorist mission and leads to the conclusion about catastrophic consequences of the eight-year stay [of coalition forces] in Afghanistan,” he said.
The heroin production in Afghanistan has grown 40 times. “That is happening silently, right before our eyes,” Ivanov said.
Afghanistan today produces twice as much heroin than the entire world produced a decade ago, he said.