MOSCOW -- Drug control agencies from Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan agreed Wednesday to step up cooperation to stop the flow of drugs through Afghan borders.
Russia's drug czar Viktor Ivanov said Wednesday's agreement includes the training of personnel, information exchange and joint operative measures.
His agency has several agents in Afghanistan and could increase their number in the future at the Afghan drug control's chief request, Ivanov said, but he added that Russia wouldn't send any armed personnel.
The signing of the deal follows an unprecedented drug raid jointly conducted by U.S., Afghan and Russian agents on the Pakistan border in October.
Ivanov has said earlier that his agency told the U.S. where the labs were located and that four Russian agents took part in the bust.
Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world's opium, the raw ingredient used to make heroin. Russia, which has around 2 million opium and heroin addicts, has urged the U.S. military to take stronger action against Afghan drug labs. The bulk of drugs produced in Afghanistan flows through ex-Soviet Central Asia and Russia.
The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 8, 2010; 9:20 AM