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The Minister of Internal Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher replied to the interpellation concerning carrying out the fight against drugs (No 343), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Andres Anvelt, Indrek Saar, Mart Meri, Heljo Pikhof, Eiki Nestor, Kalvi Kõva, Kajar Lember, Sven Mikser, Karel Rüütli, Helmen Kütt, Kalev Kotkas and Jevgeni Ossinovski on 3 June. 

The interpellators wished to obtain an overview from the Minister of Internal Affairs of the measures taken in Estonia to fight the sudden rise in the number of drug-related deaths. 

According to Vaher’s explanations, a considerable resource has been dedicated to the fight against drug-related crime. The activities of the police have been reconsidered and systematised. The Minister of Internal Affairs expressed the hope that all that would have a positive impact and would also bring about a decrease in drug-related deaths. 

Vaher said that the causes of drug-related deaths in Estonia actually reached back decades and harked back to mid-1990s when a regrettably large number of drug-addicts had emerged in Estonia. At present moment, experts estimate their number to be around ten thousand. According to statistics, long-term drug addicts account for about 80% of the cases of drug-related deaths. 

Vaher added that the police engage in the fight against drugs all over the country. “When we speak of “hard” or “strong” drugs, then Tallinn, Harjumaa and Ida-Virumaa are places of high risk. This is confirmed by the geographical distribution of drug-related deaths,” the Minister of Internal Affairs said. In his words, the East Prefecture had enhanced the analysis-based and well-considered activity against the networks and the organisers, that is, the leaders of drug trafficking. “Our aim is to fill certain positions which inevitably remain vacant in the East Prefecture. We have allocated additional resource for that for this year,” the Minister said. 

“Our direction is clear: to try and help to link up also other lines of activity which are important in reducing drug addiction. In particular, to target activities and resources at prevention activities, and certainly to encourage more strategic planning and attempts to find opportunities for treatment and rehabilitation from the funds of the European Union financial perspective, for example,” Vaher said. 

He added that, in cooperation with the Government Committee on Drug Prevention, a new document concerning the policy on reducing drug use had been prepared which was one of the most comprehensive ones in that field. “In cooperation with experts in this field, this policy document, that is, the White Book, presents a comprehensive vision for significantly reducing the drug problem in Estonia,” Vaher said. 

The Minister of Internal Affairs also replied to the interpellation concerning the organisation of marine and coastal pollution response capacity (No 346), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Karel Rüütli, Neeme Suur, Sven Mikser, Marianne Mikko, Rein Randver, Kajar Lember, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Helmen Kütt, Andres Anvelt, Lembit Kaljuvee, Kalvi Kõva, Jaan Õunapuu, Kalev Kotkas and Eiki Nestor on 6 June. 

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor. 

The Riigikogu Press Service