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June 24, 06

NEWS / The United States-Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism Joint Press Statement and Fact Sheet


The U.S.-Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism (CTWG) met for its sixteenth session on June 19-20 in Moscow. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns co-chaired the meeting.
Combating global terrorism and our joint cooperation in the CTWG are key elements of the U.S.-Russia Strategic Framework Declaration and important not only for our two countries, but for the international community at large. The combination of international terrorism and the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery represent a profound threat to the security of the United States, Russia, and other countries around the world.
Russia and the United States continue to provide leadership in the successful implementation of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, launched jointly by the Presidents of Russia and the United States in 2006. This initiative has grown to include 73 participating states and provides the opportunity to all partners to cooperate in strengthening their individual and collective capabilities to combat nuclear terrorism.
Through the CTWG, the United States and Russia are working together to combat terrorism and other international threats by focusing on several important areas including Afghanistan, counternarcotics, United Nations designations of terrorists and terrorist financiers, terrorism finance, intelligence sharing, law enforcement, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), and transportation security.
Recent CTWG accomplishments are many and varied:
· Liaison connections between Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have been established in Washington and Kabul, and joint work has been initiated in these locations and through the Collective Security Treaty Organization “Operation Channel;”
· Made permanent the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) Counternarcotics project on joint training in Domodedovo for Afghanistan and Central Asia;
· Held joint meetings regularly in New York and coordinated closely in the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee and other UN fora on terrorist designations;
· Coordinated requests for evidence through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in a terrorism-related case involving material support of terrorist activities, including financial support for such activity in Chechnya;
· Held productive service-to-service intelligence and law enforcement exchanges in April 2007 in Washington and November 2007 in Moscow, which focused on the murders of Russian diplomats in Iraq, terrorist groups of mutual concern, recent threat information, new joint investigations, and WMD/Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) terrorism;
· Held discussions in February 2008 on combating Weapons of Mass Destruction terrorism with a goal to finalizing a concrete work plan;
· Continued to implement the U.S.-Russia MANPADS Arrangement through an ongoing dialogue among experts;
· Co-sponsored a security seminar entitled “Airline Operations to the United States” in Moscow in October 2007; and
· Co-sponsored with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) a ground-breaking conference on public-private partnerships to combat terrorism in May 2007.
Highlights from the sixteenth CTWG session include:
· Agreement in principle to provide Russian military materiel to the Afghanistan National Army;
· Continued support for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) projects to build Afghanistan and Central Asia border security capacity by providing training and mentoring of customs and borders officials, as well as adequate training facilities;
· Commitment to support and contribute to the NATO-Russia Council Counternarcotics project;
· Agreement to expedite the approval of the framework documents for the Central Asia Regional Information Coordination Center;
· Agreement to work together to propose new listings, de-list individuals/entities who no longer meet the criteria for listing, and updating identifiers to ensure UNSC 1267 sanctions remain up-to-date, credible, and enforceable, in order to update the 1267 Consolidated List, including its Taliban portion;
· Agreement to work collaboratively with Eurasia Group members on enhancing their anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism;
· Agreement to expand joint terrorism investigations;
· Agreement on a framework for bilateral cooperation on nuclear forensics; and
· Agreement to create a peer-to-peer partnership in transportation security through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which would include a mechanism to share emerging technology; exchange of related information; best practices; lessons learned; airport assessments and air carrier inspections.


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