(Itar-Tass World Service)
Russia abrogated an agreement with the United States over the cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries
Russia abrogated the Russian-US essential agreement that became the third bilateral agreement cancelled for the last six months. On Wednesday, Russia announced about the termination of the effect of the 2002 treaty on cooperation with the United States in the struggle against drugs, human trafficking, corruption and terrorism, explaining this step by the assumption that the treaty “does not match the present-day realities.”
Under the agreement on cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries the law enforcers did not only share the experience, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. The US allocated major grants for different projects. For instance, in 2002 the US earmarked about one million dollars for the reform of the Russian law enforcement system. The cooperation between the two countries also concerned the struggle against drug trafficking. The cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries was mostly intensive in the struggle against the drug threat. The termination of the effect of the agreement in Moscow was caused by the fact that it is not needed any longer. For instance, chairperson of the State Duma Security Committee Irina Yarovaya voiced this point of view. Her colleague from the Federation Council Viktor Ozerov stated that the agreements, which are morally outdated, can be reviewed, as he put it.
Under this agreement the signatory nations agreed “to develop and support the projects, which are aimed at the struggle against illegal international drug circulation and other criminal activities with the use of the territory of Russia and inside Russia,” the Kommersant daily noted. The US was to fund the projects. In the first two years of the effect of the agreement Washington committed to allocate 4.2 million dollars to Moscow for the projects in the following spheres: the struggle against drug trafficking, child pornography in the Internet, human trafficking and money laundering; the security of the borders and the seaports; the operation of the regional customs services in the Russian North-Western Federal District; the assistance in the criminal procedure reform and mutual legal assistance.
In the years following the first two years of the effect of the agreement the US allocated “just several hundred thousands of dollars every year” to Russia for these purposes, a Kommersant source in the Russian government said. “We already do not need these donations for a long time. Moreover, we sponsor similar projects ourselves in other countries through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and on the bilateral basis,” the source noted.
The Russian diplomatic source of the newspaper noted the fact that “the status of recipient in the relations with the US” is unacceptable for Russia influenced the Russian decision to walk out from the agreement. “This step is not related to the Magnitsky law enacted in the US or the recent US quitting from the working group on the civil society under the bilateral Presidential Commission. This decision became ripen for the last 3-4 years. About six months ago we informed the US partners about our plans and this did not come as a surprise for them,” the Russian diplomatic source said.
President of the PIR-Centre Vladimir Orlov believes that the bilateral agreement on law enforcement cooperation is the last agreement with the US that Russia decided to revise. “This is one of the last steps, which Moscow outlined 12-18 months ago, when Vladimir Putin was running for his third presidential term,” the expert explained to the newspaper. “The idea was the following: to remove from the relations with the US everything that brings about the feeling of discomfort in us and the recollections about the arm-twisting policy of the nineties. Although these agreements contained many reasonable clauses, Moscow made up its mind to cleanse bilateral relations from the heritage of the past, turn over a new leaf on equal conditions suitable for the country,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Russian drug watchdog stated that instead of the'morally outdated' agreement Moscow and Washington will approve a new document, “which will stipulate modern management systems of anti-drug activities, essentially new approaches in the struggle against transnational drug crimes.”
However, a certain tendency in the relations between the two countries cannot but make us alarmed in the last few months and that bowls down to the simple scheme: “received – retaliated”. The US enacted the Magnitsky law, Russia retaliated with its law. Washington has recently stated about the walkout from the working group over the development of the civil society, which was included in the Russian-US Presidential Commission. Russia also has its ace in the hole to this US step. The red bottom with the slogan “resetting”, which Hillary Clinton showed to the TV cameras with a smile, seems to be abandoned as outdated.