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Russia Said To Block U.S. Drug Plan Amid Wariness Over Central Asian Influence

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Russia has reportedly blocked a U.S. plan designed to help stem the flow of drugs from Afghanistan through Central Asia in a sign of Moscow's continued wariness about Washington's intentions in a region often thought of as "Russia's backyard."

A delegation of U.S. officials led by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and William Brownfield, the assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, presented the plan at a February 16 meeting in Vienna of the Paris Pact countries, which works to counter trafficking in Afghan opiates.

Washington's proposed Central Asia Counternarcotics Initiative (CACI) would create task forces in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan that would coordinate with similar entities in Afghanistan and Russia.

Each task force would be comprised of some 25 people from their country's drug-control agency who would be mentored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The groups would share information, improve coordination on joint and cross-border operations, and build cases against traffickers.

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With contributions from RFE/RL's Tajik Service.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Russia Said To Block U.S. Drug Plan Amid Wariness Over Central Asian Influence

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