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Lavrov Blames U.S. for HIV

The United States is aggravating the HIV/AIDS problem in Russia and the West by refusing to use its forces to destroy opium crops in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Lavrov made Russia's persistent case for poppy crop eradication by U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan at a conference on communicable diseases in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, where AIDS is a growing problem.

"It is hard for us to understand why our American partners don't want the International Security Assistance Force to do this," he said. "This issue is crucial to the fight against the drug threat and, consequently, the spread of HIV/AIDS."

(Reuters)

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