President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today we will discuss the key aspects of the anti-drug policy and the efficiency of combating drug-related crime.
The State Anti-Drug Policy Strategy until 2020 was approved in 2010. This document helped consolidate the efforts of government agencies and civil society in addressing this socially important task. At the same time, according to statistics, the total number of officially registered drug-dependent persons stands at about 600,000. Unfortunately, this figure has not changed considerably in the past five years. At the same time, the number of underage drug addicts has soared by 60 percent.
However, these are only official statistics. According to opinion polls, about 7.5 million people take drugs, including two million regular drug users. The illegal trafficking of synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances continues to expand.
Most often, they are supplied by foreign crime rings in Europe and Asia. Lately, there has been a considerable influx from Ukraine. Attempts are still being made to sell Afghan drugs, including heroin, in Russian regions, and high drug-related crime levels are being posted. As you remember, we discussed this issue at a State Council Presidium meeting in 2015.
I would like to specially note the fact that modern communications and online payment systems are being used more often to buy and sell drugs and psychoactive substances. Today, we will discuss the implementation of the Anti-Drug Strategy and what needs to be done to make this process more effective.
It is imperative to identify measures to reduce the illegal distribution and non-medical use of drugs and to reduce the repercussions for the security of society and the state, as well as the health of the population.
Since the Interior Ministry has taken over the functions of the Federal Drug Control Service, we ought to qualitatively improve the coordination of anti-drug trafficking activities performed by state bodies, local government and civil society institutions.
Our top priorities include identifying and interdicting illegal drug supplies from Central Asia and synthetic drug supplies of European, Ukrainian, and Asian origin, and moving swiftly to put a stop to the activities of drug dealers and associated organised criminal groups, including transnational ones.
It is critical to undermine the economic basis of drug trafficking, which is a source of financial support for terrorist and extremist groups, as is known.
We must also improve the drug abuse prevention system using the latest techniques for screening drug addicts at the early stages, and to provide high-quality treatment and rehabilitation to patients. It is important to continue targeted drug-free campaigns in the media, and form a stable immunity to drug use, especially among young people.
It is important to step-up our cooperation in combating drug use with the competent authorities of other countries, our partners in the CSTO, the CIS, the SCO, and BRICS, and also make the international public aware of our position that it is unacceptable to liberalise the international legal regime for drugs. These are the key issues that we will discuss today.