WASHINGTON, August 20 (RIA Novosti), Liudmila Chernova - The US Drug Enforcement Administration has declined to comment on the current state of US-Russia anti-drug cooperation and how it was affected by the US imposed sanctions.
"DEA respectfully declines to comment at this time," they said in an email to RIA Novosti on Wednesday when asked to comment on Tuesday's Viktor Ivanov's statement about the present US-Russia anti-drug cooperation, impacts of the sanctions and plans for the future joint work.
Russian Federal Drug Control Service Chief Viktor Ivanov stated that Russian-US anti-drug cooperation was affected by the imposed sanctions as US police officers have been banned from communicating with the Russian official. However, the Russian side continues communication. Ivanov has offered to continue cooperation despite the sanctions, stressing that the problem of drug trafficking remains an issue of concern for all countries. Ivanov was targeted with US sanctions, including a travel ban.
The White House confirmed it had suspended a number of bilateral meetings and operations, involving Russian officials, targeted by the US sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis, a spokesperson Caitlin Hayden told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“As we’ve said previously, given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we have suspended some bilateral meetings with the Russian Federation and we are not engaging with officials, like Mr. Ivanov,” Hayden stressed in the statement.
Hayden emphasized that the operational counter-narcotics cooperation at the working level continues.