|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russian UN Drug Agency Head To Visit U.S.A. To Discuss Afghan Drugs
Sept. 9 (EIRNS)Yuri Fedotov, the current Russian Ambassador to Britain and a former Deputy Foreign Minister, takes up his post as executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Sept. 13. Speaking to the press, he pointed to the continuing role of Afghanistan as the world center for drugs: "Soon we will have good news. I understand that my office is about to issue a report which basically will say that there is a decrease this year of production of opiate poppies in Afghanistan. The bad news is that this decrease is due to natural conditions, some kind of plague [disease] that affected crops."
Fedotov adds that the report will also show that in spite of the fall in opium poppy production, sufficient stocks had been accumulated over the past years to continue to produce heroin, and that as much land would be under poppy cultivation this year as in 2009, producing thousands of tons more than the entire global demand.
"I look forward on my next visit to the United States," concluded Fedotov, "to have more meaningful discussions in Washington and to see clearly how UNODC can help to bridge the gap and to move ahead with a positive agenda for Afghan drugs, including [reducing] the production of opium in Afghanistan."
New Russia-India Project, Luna-Resource, To Colonize the Moon
Sept. 11 (EIRNS)Russian news outlets reported Sept. 10 an agreement between Russia and India to launch a Moon colonization project. The main tasks of the Luna-Resource project include study of the Moon's poles by landers, and delivery from the lunar surface to Earth of samples of water and other substances. Research will investigate the mystery of the origin of our planet, the Solar System, and the universe. The project is scheduled to start in 2013. The Russian lunar exploration program is planned for the next ten years. In 2012-14 there will be two expeditionsthe Russian Luna-Glob and the Russian-Indian Luna-Resource.
The orbital part of India's Chandrayaan-2 will include five main structures that will explore the Moon in different ranges; two more will be on the descent module. The orbiter will house: a wide soft X-ray spectrometer CLASS and solar X-ray monitor; an infrared spectrometer for studying the exosphere of the Moon; a neutral mass spectrometer for compiling three-dimensional maps of the lunar exosphere; a surface mapping camera to study lunar geology and mineralogy; and aperture radar S- and L-bands for studying the structure of the lunar ice and search for the presence of water on the Moon or under the surface.
The landers will collect and deliver to Earth samples of water and volatiles from the lunar poles. The experiment, if successful, will help to understand where on the Moon the water comes from, and unravel some secrets of the origin of the universe, scientists hope.