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Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman and the head of the United Russia party speaks attends a meeting in the Gorky residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. The statement from Dmitry Medvedev, who is deputy head of Russia's Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, comes amid tensions over the concentration of an estimated 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine that fueled Western fears of an invasion. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

Kremlin accuses US of bid to export Afghan heroin to Russia

AT News

KABUL – Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has claimed that the Taliban’s anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan over the past year surpassed the accomplishments of the US-led coalition’s two-decade campaign, alleging US interest in exporting Afghan heroin to Russia before the Taliban came to power.

Medvedev referenced the 2023 Afghan Opium Survey by the UNODC, revealing a staggering 95% drop in opium production, from 6,200 tons in 2022 to 333 tons in 2023.

“In less than a year, the Taliban achieved what the US-led NATO coalition, ostensibly combating terrorism, couldn’t in 20 years. This shift occurred as those potentially involved in exporting heroin left the region,” Medvedev posted on his Telegram channel, highlighting the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021, concluding the long-standing military operation initiated in 2001.

He accused the US of prioritizing exporting Afghanistan heroin to Russia over combating drugs. The remarks come in the wake of escalating debate over the efficacy of anti-drug measures and the role of various entities in the region’s drug trade dynamics.

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