EWI’s Joint U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghan Narcotrafficking met in Moscow on October 4-6 to discuss how the United States, Russia, and other key stakeholders can work together to increase efforts in countering the Afghan narcotics trade. Specific topics discussed included the flow of Afghan drugs money; drugs demand reduction; and prospects for bilateral and multilateral counternarcotics cooperation between the U.S., Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asian nations, and regional and international organizations.

Discussions at the meeting formed the foundation for two forthcoming working group publications— a report on the flow of Afghan drugs money and the joint policy assessment. Both are due out next year. Official agencies and organizations represented at the meeting included the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), U.S. Department of State, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Commission, the Afghan Ministry of Finance, and the embassy of Tajikistan in Moscow.

On the sidelines of the working group meeting, EWI facilitated the first ever bilateral meeting on the topic of drugs demand reduction between FSKN and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

The first five-way meeting between sitting officials from the United States, Russia, Afghanistan, UNODC, and SCO also took place at our working group meeting.

Meeting participants agreed that the U.S.-Russia bilateral format of the working group has proven very effective and necessary, particularly during this challenging time in U.S.-Russia relations. The group has committed to exploring new ways for this bilateral track 2 mechanism to continue to build trust in the relationship.

Click here to read Carnegie Corporation of New York's piece about this event.

Doug Wankel, former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Administrator and Enayat Qasimi, Adviser to the Government of Afghanistan

Senyo Agbohlah of UNODC and David Mansfield

6th Meeting of the Joint U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghan Narcotrafficking

Konstantin Sorokin of International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring and Yuri Tsarik of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies

Former Russian Ambassadors to Afghanistan, Andrey Avetisyan and Mikhail Konarovsky