MOSCOW, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Russia has canceled a bilateral crime-fighting agreement with the United States because Russia moved from aid recipient to aid donor, the Foreign Ministry said.
"Over time Russia has turned from an aid recipient into a donor ... including via our crime-fighting agencies," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.
Ryabkov minimized speculation that the cancellation was in response to the U.S. State Department's decisions days earlier to withdraw from a joint working group on civil society issues, The Moscow Times reported.
"The question [of scrapping the aid deal] had been discussed with the Americans for the past three years," he said.
The official reason provided by Russian leaders was that the agreement, which has been lapsed since 2002, had exhausted its potential.
Under the agreement, the U.S. government provided funds to Russian law enforcement agencies for crime-fighting projects. When it expired on Sept. 25, 2002, the U.S agencies did not have enough money for such programs, the government said.
Viktor Ozerov, head of the Federation Council's defense and security committee, told RIA-Novosti a number of Russia-U.S. agreements likely would be canceled in the future because of "obsolescence."
Relations between the two countries have cooled since U.S. President Obama signed into law the Magnitsky Act, which seeks to impose sanctions on Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses. Russia subsequently passed a measure banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children.
A security agency source confirmed to the Times that Russia would not fully end its cooperation with the United States on anti-drug trafficking matters.
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