Armenian Russian Interior Ministers Meet

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The third meeting of the United Board of the Russian and Armenian Interior Ministers was held in Yerevan on March 22. The United Board–which held its first meeting in Yerevan in 2000–is a flexible form of cooperation between the two ministries allowing a more effective struggle against crime–Armenian Interior Minister Haik Harutiunian stated at the news conference following the meeting.

Minister Harutiunian emphasized that the Interior Ministries of the two countries are mostly interested in finding–arresting and extraditing the people who are on the wanted list. As a result of the active cooperation in this direction–the bodies of the Russian Interior Ministry arrested 110 people and extradited them to Armenia–and the bodies of the Armenian Interior Ministry arrested 12 criminals in the territory of Armenia and extradited them to Russia in 2001.

Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov pointed out that the issue of illegal drag trafficking was discussed at the meeting of the United Board. The Armenian side gave assurances that the situation is under control–it is not alarming and no transit routes across Armenia have been revealed.

In answer to question of Noyan Tapan’s reporter about the partly anti-Armenian actions in Krasnodar–Gryzlov said that it is the Russian Interior Ministry that is mostly responsible for the problems of illegal migration since a Federal Migration Service was created in the system of the Ministry. The Ministry is currently paying great attention to this issue and it was also discussed during this meeting of the United Board.

According to the Armenian side–a large number of Armenian citizens live in the three regions of Russia – Stavropol–Krasnodar and Primorie.

For this reason–an agreement has been reached on holding a meeting of the experts of the Interior Ministries in Krasnodar–to be attended by the representatives of other departmen’s and government bodies. The aim of the meeting is to study the situation of the Armenian citizens in detail.

According to Gryzlov–the sides also discussed issues connected with the situation in Chechnya and creation of the world anti-terrorism coalition. To promote the effectiveness of cooperation for the struggle against international terrorism–a direct information connection for data exchange will be established between the two ministries.

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