A top Russian anti-drug official is calling for the introduction of visa regimes with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to help combat narcotics trafficking.
Vyacheslav Davydov, the head of the Moscow branch of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation, described migration from Central Asia as "a major catalyst for the expansion of drug trafficking" in the Russian capital.
"That citizens of Central Asia [may enter Russia] without a visa and only on their passports is an extreme cause of concern," the Uzbek news site Gazeta.uz quoted Davydov as saying on July 22. "This is my personal opinion, but introducing new entry rules for the citizens of these countries, [such as] getting a visa would improve the situation in this sphere."
About 64 percent of heroin seizures in Moscow this year involved traffickers from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, he added. In recent months, Russia's diplomatic relations with both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have soured.