October 01, 2014

Russia scraps decade-old drug control agreement with US

By Mirwais Adeel - Wed Jan 30 2013, 3:46 pm

Russia scraps drug control agreement with USRussia says it is pulling out of a decade-old drug control agreement with the United States in the latest sign of a deterioration in ties since President Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin last year.

The Russian government website published a decree from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev saying Moscow had informed Washington it was withdrawing because the deal “does not address today’s realities and has exhausted its potential.” Moscow said it lacked the money to fight drugs when it struck the deal in September 2002 at a time of warming relations that followed the Sep 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

Moscow said it lacked the money to fight drugs effectively on its own when it struck the deal in September 2002 at a time of warming relations that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

It added that Washington had “regularly provided … financial assistance for the implementation of anti-criminal projects” during this time.

Under the 2002 agreement, the United States provided financial assistance to help Russia combat drug trafficking and other crimes, including human trafficking, Internet technology crimes, money laundering, corruption, and terrorism.

The announcement came just days after the United States informed Moscow it was quitting a joint commission on civil society in protest at Putin’s record since his return for a third term as president in May.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia said at the time that Putin’s restrictions “called into serious question whether maintaining that mechanism (the civil society working group) was either useful or appropriate”.

In the meantime a security source told the Interfax news agency that Moscow would keep open anti-narcotics programmes most heavily backed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration such as in Afghanistan.

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