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Russia, Cuba agree to cooperate in anti-drug efforts

February 28, 2012, 4:47 UTC+3

Earlier, a similar agreement was signed with Guyana

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HAVANA, February 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian and Cuba have agreed to cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking. An agreement to this effect was signed here on Monday by Russian anti-drug chief Viktor Ivanov and Cuban Minister of the Interior Abelardo Colome Ibarra.

Earlier, a similar agreement was signed with Guyana.

“We have agreed that it will be a new stage in joint work,” Ivanov said. According to the Russian anti-drug chief, the signing of the agreement was preceded by “exercises, the so-called controlled traffic” from Nicaragua via Panama, Cuba and Russia, where “the operation was successfully completed.”

“If the Cuban side informs us about possible drug trafficking to Russia, we will use this experience to expose the entire chain of drug dealers,” he stressed.

In his words, cocaine traffic from South America to Europe has doubled, and it is a “big problem for united Europe.” At the same time, drug traffic to Russia is also growing, and anti-drug agreements with Cuba and a number of other Latin American states are a timely step.

The global drug situation, Ivanov noted, is characterized by giant drug production, with annual proceed from drug sales reaching from 500 to 800 billion U.S. dollars. Such state of things “dramatically deteriorates” the economic situation in the world, incurs “irreparable losses” and provokes further aggravation of the global financial crisis. “The analysis of drug production and transnational transit shows that the present-day architecture of global drug crime is resting on two roots,” he noted. “One is in South America, which produces more than 1,000 tons of cocaine a year, and the other one – is in Afghanistan, which accounts for 95 percent of the world’s heroine production.” These two centres are the core of transnational drug crime, and regional synthetic drug, marijuana and hashish traffics are added.

“We have agreed that drug transit from South America via the territories of a number of states or territorial waters is destabilizing the political situation, Ivanov noted. With such drug traffic expanding, “criminal gangs are evolving into semi-military formations,” which enter into armed conflicts with the incumbent authorities and with “their rivals,” and in the long run it leads “to a situation of mass violence and murders.”

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