Georgia’s and Iran’s relaxation of visa requirements is giving rise to the U.S. State Department’s concern too. "In 2010, Georgia executed an agreement with Iran on relaxation of visa requirements. The exact period of this agreement is not yet known. If an appropriate inspection and examination are not provided, this agreement may increase the flow of drugs into Georgia. It seems quite probable because 40% of Afghan opium passes through Iran," says the U.S. State Department’s report.
"There are serious reasons for thinking that drug dealers are using new facilitated routes between Georgia and Iran," the U.S. experts concluded.
Despite the unambiguousness of the document, the Georgian authorities have already tried to use the State Department’s report for attacks against Russia, saying that Moscow contributes to drug trafficking to Europe via the ‘occupied territories’ of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "The threat of drug trafficking in the first place comes from the occupied territories," said Giorgi Baramidze, Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister.
In his turn, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Ossetia, Alan Pliyev said that it was Georgia that had represented until 2008 a big problem for South Ossetia in terms of drug supply to the territory of South Ossetia.
"Georgia represented a big problem for us because of the illegal supply of drugs into the territory of our republic until the border began to be monitored around the whole perimeter by Ossetian and Russian security forces after the Georgian aggression had been repulsed in August 2008. Until 2008, the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of South Ossetia executed several operations to curb drug trafficking and detent people who were involved in selling drugs. During these operations just the citizens of Georgia were revealed delivering drugs to the Republic of South Ossetia," said Pliyev in an interview with IA "Res".
He emphasized that until 2008, by the sides’ mutual agreement within a framework of the Mixed Control Commission, the Georgian police had been informed about operations planned by the South Ossetian law enforcement bodies. "However, the Georgian drug dealers in a remarkable manner learned about the place, date and methods of actions to be taken, which suggested interpenetration of Georgian security structures and drug dealers," said Deputy Foreign Minister of South Ossetia.
Russia has already raised a question of Georgia’s role as one of the main drug suppliers to Europe. In December 2010, heads of antinarcotics agencies of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan held their first meeting in Moscow under the chairmanship of Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia’s Federal Service for Drug Control (FSDC).
During the discussion, Viktor Ivanov called the Black and Caspian Sea some of the key directions of drug trafficking. "The key directories of drug trafficking" lie through the Black and Caspian Seas, using the ports of Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia’s transit potential," says Ivanov. His opinion is that the special role is played by Georgian ports, which have become an Afghan heroin transshipment base.
The United States also noted in the report that Russia is a major user of drugs coming from Afghanistan. Except that Americans forgot to mention the fact that after NATO’s military campaign had started in Afghanistan, the opiates production volume increased 40 times in the country. But all Russia’s initiatives towards NATO’s leadership of joint campaign to combat narcotics trafficking still remain unfulfilled.
In this context, the NATO Spokesman, James Appathurai answered clearly to the Russian side’s proposal in March 2010 to begin the destruction of Afghanistan’s poppy fields.
"We can not afford to find ourselves in a position where the only source of income for people living in the second poorest country in the world, will be destroyed, and they will receive no alternative in this case," said James Appathurai, thereby giving the green light for drug producers in Afghanistan.
Chairman of the State Duma Security Committee Vladimir Vasilyev believes that the primary responsibility for the total distribution of drugs from Afghanistan rests with the U.S.
"It’s good that Americans have now prepared a special report for the U.S. State Department including a list of countries causing concern in terms of drug. That is to say that the Americans are taking responsibility for what happens in the territory of Afghanistan they control together with their allies," he said.