The United States and Russia have taken significant action to improve bilateral counternarcotics cooperationsince President Obama and President Medvedev formed the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission in July 2009. As part of this initiative, both nations are engaged in a Counternarcotics Working Groupto identify areas of cooperation in drug treatment and prevention, law enforcement, and financial intelligence. The Counternarcotics Working Group is co-chaired by the Directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policyand the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation.
Since the creation of the working group, U.S. and Russian law enforcement authorities have engaged in numerous joint training activities and cooperated on major cooperative enforcement operations, to include a July 2010 operation that targeted cocaine trafficking from the U.S. to Russia, and an October 2010 operation in cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan that targeted heroin production.
Our two governments have also engaged in extensive exchanges on initiatives that effectively reduce the demand for drugs, including visits by Russian authorities to prevention, treatment, and recovery agencies and programs in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and the Washington, DC area. This exchange of experiences will continue with visits to treatment facilities in Chicago, which will serve as the location of the next meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group in November 2011.
Both the U.S. and Russia are committed to supporting comprehensive and balanced initiatives that reduce the impact of our shared drug problem. Already, our historic joint actions have helped to disrupt illicit drug trafficking networks, target illicit financial flows, and improve mutual understanding about effective approaches to reduce the demand for drugs in our communities.
International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: U.S. State Department, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, March 2011.