Russia scraps law enforcement deal with U.S. in new blow to ties

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:26pm EST
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By Thomas Grove

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia scrapped a law enforcement agreement with the United States on Wednesday, further turning back the clock on a "reset" in relations since President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin last year.

An order to end the deal, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, was posted on the government's website. It said the agreement, under which Washington provided financial assistance for law enforcement and drugs control programs, "does not address current realities and has exhausted its potential".

Alexei Pushkov, a Putin ally who heads the international affairs committee in the lower parliament house, said Russia was "reformatting its relationship" with the United States.

"This is already the third agreement canceled in the last half-year. We are saying farewell to our dependence on 'Power No. 1'," he said on Twitter.

Putin's foreign policy rhetoric has frequently focused on external threats since he returned to the presidency in May.

Moscow ordered the U.S. Agency for International Development to cease operations in Russia in October, saying the United States was using the mission to interfere in politics.

It has also outlawed U.S.-funded "non-profit organizations that engage in political activity".

Moscow was infuriated by a U.S. law adopted in December that bars Russians accused of grave human rights abuses from entering the United States and freezes any assets they have there.   Continued...