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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin: Drug Dealers 'Root of Evil'

A senior Russian security official said on Tuesday that drug abuse posed a serious threat to national security and vowed to get tough with drug dealers.

"Despite the authorities' efforts, the spread of drugs in Russia is continuing and today has reached a point where it poses a threat to national security," Vladimir Putin, secretary of the Security Council, said at a meeting of the advisory body.

"We consider the main efforts of the state should be directed not against those who use drugs but against those who produce and traffic in drugs," he said.

"This is where the root of the evil lies," he said.

As an example of lax controls, Putin said there were 1,500 roads but only three checkpoints along the border between Kazakhstan and the Saratov region. Many illicit drugs enter Russia from Central Asia.

Putin, who is also head of the Federal Security Service, said he was particularly worried about drug abuse among young Russians, adding that it had helped fuel a rise in crime.