Representatives of the EMCDDA and the General directorate for drug control of the Ministry of internal affairs of the Russian Federation are meeting in Moscow to discuss and exchange views on the drug situation in the European Union and the Russian Federation. The meeting marks EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel’s first official visit to Russia, and is a follow-up to a Russian official visit to the EMCDDA in September last year.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) of the Russian Federation and the EMCDDA was signed in the margins of the EU–Russia summit in October 2007. In January 2018, the EMCDDA was officially informed that the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation was in a position to continue cooperating with the EMCDDA under the MoU.

The 2007 MoU allows for an exchange of information and expertise in a number of areas. With this foundation Russian experts have attended EMCDDA Expert meetings on an ad hoc basis, and progress has been made in the areas of data collection methodology and data sharing in key areas.

The current meeting (from 23-24 July) took place at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of internal affairs and included a meeting with representatives from the National Research Institute of Narcology. The Director and the EMCDDA delegation also took the opportunity to meet the Deputy Minister of health of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Kostennikov, the head of the EU delegation to Russia, Markus Ederer, and the Moscow Scientific and Practical Center of Narcology.