Russia accounts for about 2% of the international drug trade. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Victor Cherkesov, head of the government committee for combating drugs, at a meeting of committee leaders in the State Duma. He added that the Russian drug trade is valued at USD 8 billion a year. 'This money is usually laundered by fraudulent deals and then taken out of the country,' he said. He mentioned that over 200 thousand drug-trafficking crimes have been committed every year in Russia for the last 3-4 years. 'This shows that the current method of combating drugs is no longer working,' he stressed. 'The only impact we are having is on petty drug traffickers who are only in possession of small quantities and are in reality the victims of the larger drug industry. We are having very little impact on the organised drug crimes, however, which are connected with drug smuggling and money laundering,' he said.
As many as 17 foreign countries owe Russia a total of $27 billion with Belarus, Ukraine and Venezuela being the largest debtors