Amid the unprecedented waves of EU and US sanctions imposed on Russia after the start of its military operation in Ukraine, the EU has suspended its drug traffic data sharing programme with Russian law enforcement agencies.
“The EU has suspended contacts and data sharing with Russia as part of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said,” TASS reports.
The Deputy Foreign Minister, Oleg Syromolotov, confirmed that the EU has “unilaterally suspended expert contacts and data sharing with us”.
“The annual OSCE-wide Anti-Drug Conference has been postponed indefinitely,” he added.
The Russian official slammed the move as counterproductive, with the inevitable consequence being that drug traffickers will be able to act with greater impunity as a country the size of Russia is cut out of the programme.
“We believe this is a destructive approach. It plays into the hands of drug traffickers, who are taking advantage of the disagreements among countries to increase illicit drug supplies to Europe,” he said.
Russia, however, remains and will likely remain a vital country within INTERPOL. According to the INTERPOL website, “Russia is the world’s largest country by area, and shares borders with countries in northern Asia and Europe. Identifying, investigating and preventing serious crime across Europe and Asia is a large part of the daily work carried out by INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Moscow.” And now these activities also go under a threat of being stopped or “suspended”.