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Honduras keen to develop ties with Russia - drug control service chief

January 27, 2014, 16:29 UTC+3 TEGUCIGALPA

Fostering ties with Honduras in this sphere would help considerably reduce the amount of cocaine coming to Russia - official

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TEGUCIGALPA, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Honduras is keen to develop and expand cooperation with Russia in various fields, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov said Sunday in an interview to Itar-Tass. Ivanov is currently on a visit to Honduras for the inaugural ceremony of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

“In my opinion, Honduras is keen to expand contacts with Russia,” he said following meetings with the country’s officials, adding the country “expressed readiness to diversify economic relations with Russia and develop mutual consultations on foreign and security policy.”

Ivanov added he had “a highly productive meeting with recently appointed Prime Minister Jorge Ramon Hernandez, who said he was happy Honduras opened its embassy in Moscow late last year “which will undoubtedly help cement bilateral relations.”

Ivanov added that an agreement for interaction in fighting drug trafficking between the Russian drug control authority and Honduras’ Ministry of Security and Justice would be signed during his visit to Tegucigalpa.

“We are ready to arrange joint operations with the authorities of Honduras to fight drug dealers, like those carried out in Nicaragua last year,” he said. Fostering ties in this sphere would help considerably reduce the amount of cocaine coming to Russia, Ivanov believes.

Last year the Russian drug police seized six times more cocaine than a year earlier. Although “this drug does not dominate” the Russian market, “its trafficking to Russia from Latin America has started to increase”, in particular due to measures Washington has taken to curb the cocaine flow to the U.S.

The Russian drug authority earlier signed an accord with the Central American Integration System that expressed mutual readiness to cooperate in training drug police, Ivanov said. The arrangement gives Central American drug fighting agents an opportunity to take training courses Russia opened two years ago in Nicaragua’s capital Managua. Moreover, the construction of a stationary training center is to start in Managua’s suburb in May-June. According to Ivanov, Central American countries are in need of skilled drug policemen, so the project will go on.

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