Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The United States believes the policy of destroying all Afghan opium crops has badly backfired and must be stopped. Its forces on Afghan soil have already received appropriate orders.
Ambassador John Beyrle told this to a Russian news agency in an interview in Moscow Wednesday. He cited numerous instances in which poppy eradication stripped farmers of their livelihoods and forced them to join the Taliban.
At the same time, he did not rule out localized opium destruction operations.
In the period since the year 2000, the Afghan-produced heroin is estimated to have been killing some 100 thousand people each year. The Afghan drug industry generates income for three and a half million people.
Lavrov urges stepping up struggle against Afghan drug production
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for dealing with drug production in Afghanistan just as effectively as cocaine production is being fought in Latin America.
Opium poppy plantations and heroin labs should be wiped out, he told the international forum “Afghan Drug Production – a Challenge to the International Community”, which is under way in Moscow. We are certain of the need to treat the Afghan drug threat at the UN Security Council as a threat to international peace and security, he added.
Russia’s topmost diplomat feels that the ISAF coalition force in Afghanistan should come to grips with the drug industry problem.
Russian economy can be seen as more stable in Europe – Gref
The Russian economy can be seen as one of the more stable European economies, but it needs foreign investment.
This came in an interview with the “Rossia 24” TV channel by Russia’s Sberbank CEO Hermann Gref.
The key objective now is the creation of sound macroeconomic conditions that would look attractive to investors, Gref said.
He pointed out that the Russian financial system’s dependence on mineral resources and the non-diversification of the economy was a major drawback. The Sberbank CEO says he is certain that this affects price instability in Russia.
Russia will not buy The Mistral without the high-tech on it – Putin
Russia will not buy the French Mistral assault ship without the technology on it or contracts to procure much of the equipment for bringing it up to date from Russian companies. It wants the ship’s mammoth price tag of 300 million euros to stimulate naval and civilian manufacturers in Russia, as well as France.
Prime Minister Putin has told this to French media ahead of a visit to France from Thursday.
The Mistral displaces 21 thousand tons and can carry 16 attack helicopters to distances of up to 20 thousand nautical miles.
Patriarch Bartholomew hopes Ukraine will overcome church schism under Yanukovich
Istanbul, June 9, Interfax – Patriarch Bartholomew hopes that under President Viktor Yanukovich Ukraine will overcome schism in Orthodoxy.
"We know there is a schism of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and it distresses us a lot. We pray for this separation to vanish as soon as possible and for our brothers who separated to come back to the canonical Church as it is our salvation," he said at his meeting with the Ukrainian President in his Istanbul residence.
The Patriarch confessed he was "more than convinced" that Yanukovich would spare no effort to "heal these wounds" and restore unity of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
In his turn, Yanukovich pointed out to the importance of unity for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.