(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The United States says it is still seeking an explanation on Russias decision to scrap a bilateral deal that granted U.S. assistance for law enforcement and narcotics control.
"We are seeking more clarification from the Russian government at the moment with regard to what they see this covering. We obviously regret this decision because under our agreement, we had very fruitful cooperation with Russia on rule of law, countercorruption efforts, preventing trafficking in persons, counternarcotics and strengthening our mutual legal assistance cooperation," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday.
Russias decision to cancel the 2002 agreement, which was also intended to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights, was recently announced by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who said the agreement had exhausted its potential. Nuland called the Russian action "self-defeating."
"Most of the work we were doing under this agreement was also involved in training Russians," Nuland said.
"But Its obviously a Russian decision if they dont feel they need that help anymore." Since 2002, hundreds of Russian prosecutors and investigators, along with some judges and defense lawyers, have participated in U.S.-sponsored programs in Moscow and have traveled to the United States. Their U.S. counterparts have in turn traveled to Russia to improve cooperation in fighting crime worldwide.