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NATO and Russia clashed on Wednesday over how to tackle the drug problem in Afghanistan, where Western nations have been fighting a Taliban-led insurgency for eight years, dpa reported.
"Afghan opiates led to the death of 1 million people by overdose in the last 10 years, and that is United Nations data. Is that not a threat to world peace and security?" Ivanov asked journalists after the meeting.
In his speech to NATO diplomats, a copy of which was handed to the press, Ivanov stressed that "NATO is fully responsible for normalizing the situation in Afghanistan, including the elimination of drug production."
The Russian official presented a 7-point plan that foresees, among other things, an extension of the UN mandate for NATO troops in Afghanistan that would oblige them to eradicate poppy fields, as well as targeting the Taliban-led insurgency.
Ivanov said at least 25 per cent of the opium crop should be destroyed as part of the proposed joint NATO-Russia plan. He added that Marjah, the former Taliban stronghold that NATO troops cleared in recent weeks, offered a "unique opportunity" to start the effort.
But NATO spokesman James Appathurai indicated that allies were not ready to follow Russia's suggestions.
"We cannot be in a situation where we remove the only source of income for people who live in the second poorest country in the world without being able to provide them an alternative. That is simply not possible," he told journalists.