MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian-US anti-drug cooperation is suffering as a result of sanctions, Russian Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov said Tuesday.
“The US president has forbidden his police officers from communicating with me, but I haven’t forbidden my officers from doing anything. Communication is there, but there’s limited response”, Ivanov said at a press conference.
Ivanov was targeted with US sanctions, including a travel ban, after being earmarked by the United States as belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle.”
Asked for his response to the US sanctions against the director of Russia’s anti-drug agency, the head of the US military’s Southern Command, Gen. John Kelly, said it came to him as a surprise. Kelly is responsible for establishing partnerships to combat transnational organized crime and to lead efforts to halt drug trafficking.
Ivanov has offered to continue cooperating with the United States despite the sanctions imposed against him. According to the agency, Russian-US cooperation in countering drug trafficking has resulted in many successful operations against opium laboratories in Afghanistan and cocaine transportation from Latin America to Europe.
Ivanov stressed that the problem of drug trafficking remains an issue of concern for all countries.