Joint Statement Viktor Ivanov and Gil Kerlikowske
Joint Statement Viktor Ivanov, Chairman, State Anti-narcotics Committee, Director, Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation and Gil Kerlikowske, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy Co-chairmen U.s. - Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Drug Trafficking Working Group
(Moscow, Russia) Today, we have held the second meeting of the U.S. - Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Drug Trafficking Working Group. Our working group was chartered during last July’s summit between our two presidents, Dmitri Medvedev and Barack Obama.
Director Ivanov previously travelled to Washington DC on 24 September 2009 to initiate cooperative efforts to combat the illicit trafficking of drugs and their harmful effects on our two societies.
At today’s meeting, we have confirmed our commitment and discussed a number of initiatives to develop our cooperation.
We have signed the framework documents including the Rules, Membership, and Topics and Sub-Groups. The Russian Federation and the United States share the belief that solving this problem requires the efforts of the Governments of both countries. The joint work must extend beyond just law enforcement to include prevention, treatment, financial controls, international best practices, and information and personnel exchanges. As such, today’s meeting included several government agencies from throughout the Russian and American governments.
Dr. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, gave a presentation on the United States’ approach to drug prevention and treatment, including drug courts. Nikolai Aulov, Deputy Director of FSKN, gave a presentation on combating the financing of drug trafficking businesses.
As part of this cooperative atmosphere, the Drug Enforcement Administration shared a list of potential joint investigation targets with the FSKN. The FSKN has provided information on drug shipments seized in Russia that can be used to improve interdiction efforts in Afghanistan and Central Asia. This information sharing confirms the high level of mutual trust between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries and is the basis for strengthening our joint counternarcotics initiatives.
Director Ivanov has accepted Director Kerlikowske’s invitation to visit U.S. drug courts on his next visit to Washington. Drug courts are an important alternative to incarceration that provide needed treatment opportunities for those individuals addicted to drugs and involved in non-violent criminal activity. Later today, Director Kerlikowske will visit the Serbsky Center of Social and Forensic Psychiatry to discuss some of Russia’s methods for the treatment of drug addiction. These visits are conducive to deeper understanding of the approaches our two nations are currently taking.
The next meeting of Victor Ivanov and Gil Kerlikowske is scheduled to take place in March within the framework of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs in Vienna, Austria. The dates of the next meeting of our Working Group in the United States this year will be agreed upon later.