Russia's drug enforcement agency accused Ukraine's secret services of distributing drugs among Russian youths and promoting “anti-state” moods, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.
A deputy chief of the Federal Service for Drug Control (FSKN) investigative department, Sergei Mosalev, claimed Russia's upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for September, may “become a catalyst for this criminal activity,” the report said.
At a time when Russia's deepening economic troubles have stoked a degree of public discontent, the Kremlin appears worried about opposition candidates entering parliament, and has increased its calls for “patriotism” against Western-minded ideas.
“According to our information, Ukraine's secret services, which are supervised by the West, are carrying out well-planned anti-Russian activities, with the goal of increasing drug addiction among our youth, forming anti-state and anti-social moods,” Mosalev was quoted by Interfax as saying.
The largest single ethnic group among people detained in Russia on suspicion of drug-related crimes are natives of the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan in Central Asia, followed by Ukrainian nationals, Mosalev claimed.
Moscow's relations with Ukraine and the West turned fetid after Ukrainian protesters toppled a Russian-backed administration for its backing out of a planned association deal with the European Union.
Russia responded by annexing Crimea from Ukraine, supporting separatist insurgents in Ukraine's east, and warning Russians of supposedly insidious trends coming from the West.