epa07472959 The NATO flag hangs from a wall during festive public event, the open-air ceremony '15 Years Safe and Secure with NATO!'  in Vilnius, Lithuania, 30 March 2019. Lithuania celebrates the 15th anniversary of its membership in NATO.  EPA-EFE/Toms Kalnins

Possible use of NATO aircraft to traffic Afghan drugs needs to be investigated – Lavrov

MOSCOW (TASS): Russia insists that reports about possible use of NATO aircraft to traffic drugs in Afghanistan be probed into, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

“We keep on receiving reports, including via mass media, that contraband of opiates has been organized from Afghanistan to other countries, including to Europe, with the use of military aircraft of the NATO coalition,” he said during the Primakov Readings international online forum.

“We cannot verify these reports 100% but such reports are coming too regularly to be ignored. If military aircraft were used over Afghanistan, they could have been only NATO’s aircraft and such flights could have been performed only by the military or special services. Naturally, such information needs to be probed into, first of all in the United States,” Lavrov stressed.

According to the Russian diplomat, investigation is also needed inside the country of NATO presence. “Looking at absolutely reliable facts, we can say that over the 20 years of the US’ and the coalition’s other participants’ presence in Afghanistan, drug trafficking from that country has increased many-fold. Neither the US nor other members of the coalition have taken any serious efforts to stop drug production in Afghanistan,” he added.

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