Today, April 11, Astana hosted a regular session of the Coordination Council of heads of competent bodies to counter drugs of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states.

CSTO Spokesperson Vladimir Zainetdinov said the meeting was chaired by the chairman of the State Drug Control Committee, Director of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service Victor Ivanov.

The session has brought together CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha, delegations of competent authorities of CSTO member states, representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Kyrgyzstan Alexander Fedulov and director of the Central Asian Regional Informational and Coordination Center Beksultan Sarsekov.

Session participants shared views on drug threat which is coming from Afghanistan, increase of the role of the Coordination Council of CSTO member states in coordination of counter drug structures of the region and further strengthening of counter drug efforts.

Session participants have agreed that the Coordination Council has a solid experience of cooperation in counter drug area, including share of information in the course of coordinated operations, establishment of interstate and interdepartmental cooperation between various bodies, including the police, security services, customs service and border guards, financial intelligence.

At the same time, the session agreed that opiate trafficking from Afghanistan never stops while its impact on CSTO member states threatens security of our countries.

“Trafficking of synthetic drugs and various psychotropic substances from both Europe and China is now growing. That’s why session participants stressed the importance of further strengthening and development of counter drug cooperation between all countries,” Zainetdinov has said.

He believes that participation of the director of Central Asian Regional Informational and Coordination Center Beksultan Sarsekov proves that there is significant support to the Center’s initiative on share of responsibility between NATO and CSTO member states.

The source said that such cooperation between NATO and CSTO will let create mechanisms of complex share of labor on liquidation of Afghan drug production – NATO will destroy drug fields, drug storages, labs and other objects of drug producing infrastructure in Afghanistan, while CSTO member states will focus on liquidation of drug trafficking from Afghanistan and prevention of drug trafficking groups.

In other words, it will be impossible to reduce drug use level without destruction of drug infrastructure in Afghanistan.

These efforts comply with the statement of the Council of Foreign Ministers of CSTO member states on consolidation of international efforts for liquidation of planetary Afghan drug production.

Sarkesov supported the stated initiative and expressed willingness to coordinate cooperation between competent authorities of CSTO member states and the Central Asian Regional Informational and Coordination Center in the field of counter drug trafficking. Session participants have agreed to continue their joint activity aimed at drawing wider attention of international and regional organizations to counter drug production, trafficking and use efforts; development of international counter drug cooperation, first of all in the format of CSTO, CIS, SCO, Central Asian Regional Informational and Coordination Center and EAG to increase efficiency for detection and elimination of drug trafficking channels and money loundering; strengthening of existing and development of new counter drug mechanisms in the frameworks of the “Canal” Regional counter drug operation, organization of a series of specific local operations in the frames of the “Canal” operation based on territorial and thematic principle.

The session has made a decision to set up a “Grom” work group for interdepartmental cooperation in the field of prophylaxis, organization of education and methodological command staff of special forces of the Kyrgyz State Drug Control Service, Russian Federal Drug Control Service and the Tajik Drug Control Agency under the President of Tajikistan in 2012.

According to the Council’s regulations, the next session will be held in the fourth quarter 2012.