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EU Signs Drugs Monitoring Accord With Russia


EU Drugs Monitoring Centre signs accord with Russian Federal Drugs Service

The EU drugs monitoring centre (the EMCDDA) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Federal Drugs Control Service (FDCS) to exchange information and technical expertise on the use and trafficking of illegal drugs.

Heroin abuse is a growing problem in Russia with an estimated third of Afghan opium being trafficked through the country to the EU where there are up to two million problematic heroin users.

Welcoming this agreement, Vice President Franco Frattini said: "Joining efforts internationally to tackle the global drugs problem is a central plank of the EU Action Plan on Drugs. This agreement makes an important contribution to strengthening EU cooperation with Russia, a major player on the heroin trafficking route from Afghanistan".

Today's Memorandum of Understanding between the EMCDDA and the Russian Federal Drugs Control Service was signed in the margins of the EU–Russia summit taking place in Mafra under the Portuguese Presidency of the EU.

The signatories were EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz and FDCS Director Viktor Cherkesov. Present at the signing ceremony were: President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Prime Minister of Portugal José Sócrates.

Cooperation will cover a number of areas, including:

* developing or improving joint indicators to assess the drug situation;

* participation of FDCS experts in EMCDDA meetings and vice versa (e.g. HIV, problem drug use);

* mutual access to statistical information and exchange of scientific research results; and

* training and capacity-building and the exchange of programmes, plans and practices.

Background

EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (the EMCDDA) is a Community regulatory agency created in 1993. Its objective is to provide the Community and its Member States with objective, reliable and comparable information at European level concerning drugs and drug addiction and their consequences. Its work allows the European Commission to propose evidence based policies in the illegal drugs field.

EU Action Plan on Drugs 2005-2008

Drugs are one of the major concerns of the European citizens and a threat to the security and health of our society. To help tackle this situation the EU Drugs Action Plan 2005-2008 contains more than 80 actions covering demand reduction, supply reduction, fight against illicit trafficking and international action.

ENDS

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