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KIEV, March 6 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine and Russia are approaching a new level of cooperation in fighting the illegal turnover of drugs, narcotic and psychotropic substances and their precursors under an agreement signed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Russia’s federal drug control agency (FSKN) on Tuesday.
The agreement was signed by the chief of the SBU, Igor Kalinin, and FSKN chief Viktor Ivanov.
After the signing of the document Kalinin and Ivanov said it would faciliate the on-line exchange of information, carry out joint operations against the entire chain of drugs trafficking, intensify search for suspects in drug-related crimes and work out a strategy to fight against the legalization of proceeds from illegal drug business.
Kalinin said Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich last year signed a law tightening the responsibility for the illegal turnover of drugs. “This is the next systematic step directed at improvement of the nation’s health and its future,” Kalinin said.
Ivanov noted the years-long close cooperation by both agencies. He said they had carried out a number of joint successful operations against drugs trafficking and drug-related criminal groups.
As an a example he mentioned the liquidation of channels of hashish smuggling from Central Asia via Russia and Ukraine. Ivanov said the agreement would allow for the intensification of joint fight with the illegal turnover of drugs.