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Russia to step up cooperation with Tajikistan in war on drugs — minister

May 23, 2016, 20:05 UTC+3 DUSHANBE DUSHANBE May, 23. /TASS

Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev says Russia and Tajikistan should team up for concerted action and be still more active in plugging the loopholes for the flow of drugs

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© Artem Korotaev/TASS

DUSHANBE, May 23. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry is going to step up interaction with Tajikistan’s drug control agency, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, has said.

"We should team up for concerted action and be still more active in plugging the loopholes for the flow of drugs into Tajikistan and Russia. We expect still more tangible results in the war on this ill," Kolokoltsev told a news briefing following a joint board meeting of the Russian and Tajik interior ministries.

He is certain that such cooperation will certainly not get worse to any extent.

"My counterpart Ramazon Rakhimzoda and I are certain about that," Kolokoltsev said.

He is for stepping joint efforts in conducting search and detective work, solving specific crimes and conducting large-scale preventive operations.

"A special role is to be played by joint cooperation programs. One of them, for providing assistance to the agency in 2015-2017, encompasses a wide range of cooperation. The first phase that lasted in 2012-2014 has already yielded favorable results," Kolokoltsev said.

He said the Russian Interior Ministry was prepared to step up cooperation with Tajik counterparts on issues of mutual interest.

Kolokoltsev held a meeting with Tajikistan’s drug control agency Sherkhoni Odina Salimzoda.

Joint work 

 Kolokoltsev has outlined problems in relations with colleagues in Tajikistan noting that it is important to introduce mechanisms of optimizing joint work.

"There are difficulties that affect the promptness of search operations and investigative actions. First of all, they are connected with compliance with certain legal procedures envisaged by multilateral and bilateral agreements," Kolokoltsev said.

"It is in our power to build better mechanisms of cooperation," he added. The interior minister said that problems persist in meeting deadlines, quality of carrying out international orders on criminal cases, in forming and using existing databases.

As of today, a necessary legal base was established, exchange of operational and other types of important information was normalized, practical experience of investigating grave crimes and searching for criminals is being developed, Kolokoltsev said. "Last year and in the first quarter of this year, 54 people on Tajikistan’s wanted list were detained on the territory of our country," the interior minister said.

The example of effective joint work was the investigation into the murder of the former head of police in the city of Syzran Andrey Gosht and his family. "The active participant and possible organizer of this resonant crime was identified and detained with the help of Tajik colleagues," Kolokoltsev stressed.

He reminded that an important step toward increasing effectiveness of cooperation was the agreement on order of establishing and operating joint investigative groups on territory of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries signed in 2015. According to the Russian Interior Ministry, nationals of Tajikistan commit several thousands crimes in Russia every year, with 30% of them grave crimes. A total of 1,500-2,000 crimes is committed against Tajik citizens in Russia every year, with around 25% of them grave crimes.

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