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WASHINGTON DC, November 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian and U.S. security services have had a number of successful joint operations to block drug trafficking over the past year, Federal Drug Control Service Director Viktor Ivanov said.
He cited as an example Operations Asian, Tajik Express and Octopus, the destruction of four large drug laboratories in Afghanistan and the neutralization of a criminal group attempting cocaine contraband to Russia from Brazil.
Ivanov said that the suppression of drug trafficking would continue and a number of new joint operations had been planned. However, these operations must be coordinated with the authorities of Afghanistan and will require rapider reaction of NATO servicemen stationed in that country, he said.
In addition to the joint anti-drug staff, Russia has proposed the establishment of ‘a joint command’ with the participation of servicemen. “That could become a concrete example of Russia-NATO cooperation,” particularly valuable in view of the NATO summit in the Czech Republic planned for next May, Ivanov said.
He dwelt on the jubilee meeting of the working group for the suppression of narcotic drugs, which operated under the Russia-U.S. Presidential Commission. The meeting summed up results of the joint work and made plans for three main areas, i.e. operative contacts, lowering of the demand for narcotic drugs, including treatment and social rehabilitation of drug addicts, and prevention of drug money laundering.
Ivanov said that Russia was generally satisfied with the current level of cooperation with the U.S. and particularly valued the interaction between drug control professionals.