As Russian President Dmitry Medvedev prepares to make an appearance in Lisbon during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit on November 19-20, Russian officials are pushing for the Atlantic Alliance to demonstrate a greater spirit of cooperation with Moscow in combating drug production in Afghanistan.
In Lisbon, Medvedev is widely expected to press Western leaders for closer NATO cooperation with a Moscow-led security group, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The CSTO is a central element in Moscow’s efforts to contain narcotics production and trafficking in Afghanistan, as highlighted by a program called “Operation Channel.”
In an interview with EurasiaNet.org, the head of Russia’s drug-control agency, Victor Ivanov, described Operation Channel as a “preventive operation that allows a number of agencies on the territory of the operation to update their activities by enhancing their exchange of information.”
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Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.