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NATO, Russia Launch Central Asian Anti-Drug Program

8 December 2005 -- NATO today said it had reached an agreement with Russia on the launching of a pilot program to fight drug trafficking in and around Afghanistan.

The 26-member alliance said in a statement that the project aims at supporting international efforts to promote security and stability in the region, with a particular emphasis on combating the trafficking of narcotics and its links to terrorism.

Under the joint NATO-Russia project, two-to-three-week long training courses will be offered to relevant personnel from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

The statement does not say how many personnel will benefit from those training courses. Not does it say when it will start.

Central Asia and Russia are key transit routes for Afghan-produced drugs meant for Western Europe.