29 May 201910:22

Statement by the Head of the delegation of the Russian Federation at the 65th session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Ambassador Dmitry V. Feoktistov (Buenos Aires, May 10, 2019)

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by the Head of the delegation of the Russian Federation 
at the 65th session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)
Ambassador Dmitry V. Feoktistov  
(Buenos Aires, May 10, 2019)


Mr. Chairman,

Thank you for the opportunity to address the plenary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. The Russian Federation in its capacity of the observer to the CICAD congratulates Argentina with its presidency in the Commission. We would also like to extend congratulations to Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay on their election to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

The ministerial and regular segments of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna this March have been indeed a milestone. They summarized the experience of implementing the Political Declaration and Action Plan of 2009 and determined the areas of drug control priorities for the forthcoming periods of 5 and 10 years. We note the meaningful approach of the OAS members' delegations in agreeing in Vienna the draft Ministerial Declaration on the revitalization of efforts at the national, regional and international levels to speed up the implementation of our joint commitments to address and counter the global drug problem. 

We would like to express our particular gratitude to Peru, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Columbia for co-sponsoring the Russian draft resolution in support of the efforts by the International Narcotics Control Board and confirmation of the global commitment to the three UN drug-control conventions and other relevant international documents. We proceed from the fact that the Committee will continue to act as a watchdog for the compliance of the UN Member States with the international legislation on drug control, including that on the legalization of the recreational cannabis.

Russia will further promote the role of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs as a vital policy-shaping body of the UN system in drug control. We believe that membership in the Commission may be granted only to the countries that strictly observe international legislation on drug control. We support the efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Narcotics Control Board in implementation of their respective mandates.

Addressing the threat of spread of new psychoactive substances (or so-called designer drugs) remains the top priority for the Russian Federation. We continuously monitor the emergence of new psychoactive substances, in particular in other countries, and immediately include them in relevant control lists. In 2018 two government decrees were adopted that blacklisted new 47 substances and 7 precursors. Russia has established an effective mechanism of criminal prosecution for trafficking in both nationally listed substances and their derivatives and substitutes, as well as potentially hazardous psychoactive substances. We continuously engage with the scientific community to identify new psychoactive and potent substances and anabolic steroids.

The Russian anti-drug law enforcement bodies continue to focus on identifying and curbing the activity of criminal groups that use the information and communications technologies to sell drugs, recruit sellers and couriers, and promote banned substances.

In 2018 at least 9 percent of drug related crimes in Russia (which constitutes about 19,000 cases) were committed using the communication applications, including "WhatsApp", "Viber", "Imo" and "CoverME" messengers, and Internet forums in TOR network. For instance, major trader Hydra, which serves as a platform for illicit stores selling drugs, forged documents and bank cards operated in Russia since late 2016. Payments were made in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. To create the database, drug traffickers used the Russian messenger "Telegram". For now the activity of Hydra in Russia has been successfully disrupted, although this web site remains operational since it is hosted by foreign servers.

In 2012 the Russian Federation established the Single Register of web sites, which are to be blocked by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, with a view to restricting access to the content promoting use of drugs. By the beginning of 2019 distribution of such content was successfully stopped through preventive measures taken within the framework of the Single Register.

Many Internet sources containing illegal information are located outside Russia. Therefore, we are interested in establishing international and bilateral cooperation with the relevant authorities of the OAS members in this area.

We are ready to work together with our partners on providing training and advanced training for anti-drug personnel on a wide range of topics in the centers of Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs in Managua and Lima as well as in training centers in Russia. In 2018 Nicaragua hosted 7 training courses for 136 narcotics police officers from the Latin America and the Caribbean and Peru hosted 2 workshops for 46 local officers. The Institute of Advanced Training of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (the Domodedovo Training Center), which is now a “flagship” educational institution on the list of the UNODC, provided training for 13 criminal investigators from Latin American countries.

Russia reiterates its interest in developing practical cooperation to detect criminal groups involved in illegal cocaine trafficking. Currently, maritime container transportation serves as the primary channel for the delivery of cocaine to the Russian Federation. However, drug traffickers also actively use air transportation and international post. Therefore, we deem it useful to cooperate in developing a tool for immediate information exchange; conducting investigation activities together with the relevant authorities, including controlled delivery; exchanging techniques to detect goods that potentially contain drugs. We welcome CICAD members’ proposals in this regard.

The Russian Federation will continue to advocate strengthening of international, regional and bilateral cooperation based on the principle that the current drug control regime will stay intact. Our common goal should be creating the world free of drugs and not the world tolerant to drugs.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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