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FSB Operations

The Federal Border Service, the Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service, and of late the Russian Defense Ministry, all devote considerable resources to counter-drug operations. Russia's MVD, State Customs Committee and Federal Security Service have special services and departments devoted to such activities. Although personnel devoted specifically to drug control have increased in the Ministry of Interior, the State Customs Committee, and the Federal Border Guards, their efforts have been hampered by the lack of equipment and other resources. Moreover, many of these agencies, as well as the health agencies, are experiencing the loss of some of their most experienced personnel to the private sector where salaries are much higher. The Federal Border Service concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Coast Guard in 1995 which included agreement to interdict drugs on the high seas. The Border Service also concluded a trilateral agreement in 1995 with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to reinforce trilateral counternarcotics cooperation on the borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Some 12,000 of the 18,000 border guards that are serving in Tajikistan under Russian command are citizens of Tajikistan. Servicemen of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Meetings between Federal Border Service leaders and the representatives of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, and India have focused on Russian efforts to persuade these states to abandon their support for the Tajik opposition. A Border Service delegation to Afghanistan in late 1996 discussed the possibility of creating a border security zone at least 25 km wide, within which the Border Service would be free to take any and all measures to prevent illegal border crossings. As of early 1996 fighting in Afghanistan had resulted in some 100,000 refugees fleeing to areas near the Tajik border.

Despite the presence under CIS auspices of Russian peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia and predominantly Russian peacekeeping troops in Tajikistan, there remains disagreement among the various CIS countries over proposals for the joint protection of their borders with non-CIS countries (termed by Moscow the external CIS borders). Azerbaijan and Ukraine remain the most determined to manage the protection of their own borders without Russian or CIS assistance, and Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have also sought to distance themselves from joint protection proposals.

Sources and Resources

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Updated Wednesday, November 26, 1997 5:56:23 PM