MOSCOW, January 30 (Itar-Tass) – Russia and the United States are drafting a new drug control cooperation agreement, the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) said.
“At present instead of the irrelevant agreement between the governments of Russia and the United States on cooperation in law enforcement and control of drugs that was signed in 2002, in other words, before the emergence of the FSKN and the State Anti-Drug Committee, a new one is being drafted,” the drug control service said on Wednesday, January 30.
It said the agreement would “reflect the modern system of conducting anti-drug activities and fundamentally new approaches to the struggle against trans-national drug crime.”
Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an executive order that terminated the agreement. The order was initiated by the Russian Foreign Ministry on account that the agreement does not match present-day realities and has used up its potential.
The agreement was signed on September 25, 2002 due to insufficient funding for law enforcement programmes. Under the agreement, the U.S. regularly provided financial aid to the Russian authorities for implementing anti-crime projects.
The Russian Foreign Ministry was instructed to notify the United States of the decision.
At the same time, the FSKN stressed that “Russian- American relations in the field of counternarcotics cooperation are on the rise” as evidenced by a number of successful joint special operations in different parts of the world where drugs are made and trafficked such as Central Asia and Latin America.
“In September 2012, Afghanistan anti-narcotics police, assisted by the FSKN of Russia and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, carried out an operation to destroy drug laboratories in the north of Afghanistan. As a result, 180 kilograms of heroin, 1.5 tonnes of morphine. 1.2 tonnes of opium, 2 tonnes of opium poppy seeds, and 700 kilograms of precursors were seized in the Badakhshan Province, and six drug laboratories were destroyed,” the FSKN said.
Over the past three years alone more than 10 tonnes of heroin were prevented from being shipped into Russia.
“All measures taken over the past several years have shown both countries’ commitment to making bilateral cooperation even more effective,” the service said.
“Moreover, both Russia and the United States see clear prospects for broader cooperation. This will be helped largely by shared approaches to key problems in the fight against illegal trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances, which face the international community and the most critical of which is that under no circumstances should narcotics be allowed to be legalised,” the FSKN said.
It described American colleagues as “reliable partners in the international arena”.
The joint working group against illegal drug trafficking created within the framework of the Russian-U.S. Presidential Commission has been operating for more than three years.
Key players are the State Anti-Drug Committee and the Federal Drug Control Service on the Russian side, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration on the American side.