More than 105,000 cases of drug trafficking and related crimes were registered in Russia in the first five months of 2003. During the same period, the country's law enforcers seized about 7 tonnes of drugs, Viktor Cherkesov, Chairman of the Russian State Committee against Trafficking of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, told a press conference at RIA Novosti.
He stressed that the number of drug-related crimes registered during the aforementioned period was much larger than that registered in 2002.
"The drug-trafficking problem contains a huge number of threats, each of them dangerous enough if taken separately, but all of them taken together pose a real threat to national security," he stated.
The committee Cherkesov heads was set up in March 2003 and gets down to full-scale anti-drug activities on July 1. On Wednesday, the Federation Council, or the upper house of the Russian parliament, approved a law allowing the committee to fight drug trafficking and related crimes.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year