Tajikistan, Russia step up efforts to combat drugs

An agreement between the governments of Tajikistan and Russia on efforts to combat the illegal trade in drugs and psychotropic substances was signed in Dushanbe on Dec. 3.

Anna Malikova

2009-12-12

DUSHANBE — An agreement between the governments of Tajikistan and Russia on efforts to combat the illegal trade in drugs and psychotropic substances was signed in Dushanbe on Dec. 3 by chief of the Tajik Narcotics Monitoring Agency (NMA) Rustam Nazarov and Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan Yuri Popov.

The agreement makes provisions for cooperation between the relevant authorities in both countries to align their policies on drugs and implement coordinated programmes that, in addition to efforts to combat the illegal trade in drugs, will also include rehabilitation for drug addicts.

“The agreement lays particular emphasis on cooperation in the area of criminal investigations,” Nazarov said, where improved officer training is required. Nazarov revealed that the Russian National Institute for Advanced Staff Training run by the Russian Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs has already trained more than 50 NMA officers who will play an important role in this area.

The Russian ambassador commented that the agreement would enable authorities in both countries to forge closer ties as they attempt to reduce the threat posed by drugs and also to “make a positive contribution to international cooperation over efforts to tackle organised drug-related crime, which is a source of finance for international terrorism.”

Thus far, Tajikistan and Russia have worked together in this field on the basis of a multilateral CIS agreement, but experts now believe the time has come for closer bilateral agreements.

Tajik and Russian law-enforcement agencies are also actively involved in all anti-narcotics programmes of the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Since the beginning of 2009, officers of the Tajik and Russian Ministries of Internal Affairs have carried out eight joint “controlled delivery” operations, resulting in the seizure of a total of 84kg of drugs.

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