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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 13, 2001

Russia and Counternarcotics Fact Sheet

The events of September 11 and its aftermath have made the countries surrounding Afghanistan the frontline of the global fight against terrorism, drugs and extremism.  Narcotics trafficking and drug abuse are of increasing concern in Russia.

Most drug trafficking in Russia originates in Central Asia, largely directed by Afghan smugglers, and crosses Russia into Eastern, Central and Western Europe.  The Afghan drug trade has had a terrible effect on transit countries and European nations.  Many transit countries, Russia included, are experiencing serious increases in heroin addiction and HIV/AIDS cases linked to intravenous drug use caused by the ?leakage? of heroin transiting these countries.  As Iran and Pakistan strengthen their international border controls, narcotics traffickers and terrorists may increasingly draw upon Central Asian routes to the West, thereby increasing the amount of illicit drugs transiting Russia.  Regional cooperation on counternarcotics, border security and information sharing are the best ways to contain the drugs, arms and terrorists flowing from Afghanistan.

The United States and Russia have active bilateral cooperation between their law enforcement agencies, including in counternarcotics, with attaches from the FBI, DEA, Customs and the Secret Service permanently posted in Moscow.  The United States cooperates with Russia on narcotics issues through: (1) the UN 6+2 Working Group on Drugs, the G-8, the U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan and other multilateral fora; and (2) bilateral programs.

The United States and Russia co-produced last year's United Nations Security Council resolution 1333, which imposed the most comprehensive sanctions on the Taliban to stop the drug trade and terrorist training activities in Afghanistan.

The United States Government provides significant counternarcotics assistance to Russia.  Training courses seek to improve law enforcement capacities and develop judicial reforms, as well as reduce drug demand. U.S. Government law enforcement and anti-crime programs are part of the counterterrorism approach, focused on prevention and security.  The two countries are working to renew a U.S.-Russian bilateral Law Enforcement Working Group to enhance cooperation and exchanges between U.S. and Russian law enforcement agencies.

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