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Russia-US joint war on drugs burning at both ends

Published time: December 10, 2012 15:04
Edited time: December 10, 2012 19:04
A heroin addict smokes heroin in Herat, western Afghanistan.(Reuters / Raheb Homavandi)

A heroin addict smokes heroin in Herat, western Afghanistan.(Reuters / Raheb Homavandi)

Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service says US congressional passage of legislation that targets Russian officials will not derail bilateral efforts in the battle against international drug production and trafficking.

Despite the recent passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act by US lawmakers, Russia will continue to participate in drug-fighting efforts organized by the Russian-U.S. Presidential Commission.

"The working party will carry on its deliberations,” Viktor Ivanov, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service told reporters on Monday. “This is a positive format, which enables us to battle organized drug crime and…advance effective measures for cutting the demand for narcotics."

Russia has expressed its deep displeasure over Washington’s passage of the Magnitsky Act, which is designed to slap financial and visa sanctions on Russian officials whom the US associate with the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.

Magnitsky was being investigated for his role in a massive tax-evasion scheme, died in 2009 after being held for almost a year at a pre-trial detention center in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Ivanov is scheduled to have a working visit to the United States to discuss ongoing cooperation between US and Russian drug officials.

Robert Bridge, RT