Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
November 17, 2011

[Released by ONDCP Public Affairs]

Joint Statement by Victor Ivanov, Chairman, State Anti-Narcotics Committee, Director, Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation and Gil Kerlikowske, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Co-Chairmen of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Drug Trafficking Working Group

(Chicago, Illinois)—Today, we have held the fifth meeting of the U.S. - Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission's Counternarcotics Working Group. Our working group was chartered during the July 2009 summit between our two presidents, Dmitri Medvedev and Barack Obama.

Director Ivanov previously travelled to Washington D.C. in October, 2010 and Director Kerlikowske was last in Moscow in March, 2011 furthering the cooperative efforts to address the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs. At today's meeting, we have reaffirmed our commitment and discussed a number of initiatives to maintain and strengthen cooperation between the United States and Russia.

We have previously signed a 2010 Joint Report of the Counternarcotics Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, which details the activities of the working group directly to Presidents Medvedev and Obama. In 2011, two meetings of the Working Group were held—in Moscow on March 24 and now in Chicago on November 16. In addition to these meetings, the activity this year included consultations of the Co-chairs, their deputies, and other senior staff of the FSKN with representatives of the ONDCP and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration within the framework of bilateral and multilateral activities. These interactions which concluded in major cooperation and multiple operations between the United States and Russia resulted in the disruption of drug trafficking operations while also featuring several exchanges related to drug demand reduction and treatment approaches.

At today’s meeting, we received updates from the Working Group’s sub-groups on illicit finance, law enforcement cooperation, and demand reduction. Following the morning updates, the members of both delegations attended presentations on the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program at the Chicago Medical District followed by a moderated discussion from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs with Directors Kerlikowske and Ivanov as the guest speakers. Later today, we will participate in presentations focusing on a Family-Based Treatment program at the Haymarket Center followed by law enforcement briefings at the DEA Chicago Headquarters where briefings will feature DEA, the Chicago Police Department, and the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The emphasis on prevention during both days’ planned events underscores the commitment of the United States and Russia to cooperate on issues of public health as well as public safety.

The next meeting of the U.S. - Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission's Counternarcotics Working Group will take place in the Russian Federation in the spring of 2012.

For more information about the Office of National Drug Control Policy visit: www.WhiteHouseDrugPolicy.gov.