Russian Fed’n Brands Kosovo Heroin Distribution Hub

Posted on August 26, 2011


Viktor Ivanov, director of the Russian Federation’s federal service for the control of drug trafficking, has today announced an initiative launched to combat drug trafficking via Kosovo that should involve five countries, including Russia and Serbia. Belgrade Tanjug Speaking during a press conference at Belgrade’s Russian Embassy, Ivanov said that he had signed a bilateral agreement with Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic on a combined fight against drug dealers which provided a solid foundation for operational collaboration. Ivanov, who ends his three-day visit to Belgrade today, said that the signing of the agreement fulfilled the main goal of his visit. He added that he had also consulted with Serbian ministers of internal affairs, defence and foreign affairs during his time in the Serbian capital, according to Tanjug news agency. According to the Russian official, his talks with Serbian officials concerned the Balkan route for trafficking drugs from Afghanistan to Europe, which has its distribution centre in Kosovo, where heroin is believed to be repackaged before being transported onwards. “A kilogramme of heroin costs around €10,000 in Kosovo, while the price for the same amount of that drug in western Europe is around €150,000” explained Ivanov, adding that this fact was well known to police forces in Europe, who were duly concerned. He stressed that Russia has an absolutely determined position on Kosovo, which is the same as Serbia’s position: non-recognition of Kosovo’s declaration of independence. Ivanov said that Russia had launched an initiative to combat drug trafficking in Kosovo that proposed the creation of a so-called Balkan Anti-narcotics Five, which would include Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. He also insisted that Russia is committed to launching actions that would prevent the production of heroin in Afghanistan and that NATO’s mandate in the country should include an obligation and responsibility to fight the narcotics business.