MOSCOW – Russia pulled out of an anti-crime accord with the United States on Wednesday in a move the U.S. called “self-defeating,” the latest sign of rising tensions between Moscow and Washington.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to scrap the 10-year-old agreement “because it was no longer relevant,” his office said.
The agreement covered fighting terrorism, corruption and cross-border crimes such as drug smuggling and human trafficking.
Alexei Pushkov, head of Russia’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said the decision reflected Russia’s ability to manage its affairs without outside help.
The Foreign Ministry expressed gratitude to the U.S. for providing $12 million in aid for crime-fighting projects under the accord.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed regret about the Russian move, saying that the agreement provided a framework for “very fruitful cooperation with Russia on rule of law, counter-corruption efforts, preventing trafficking in persons, counter-narcotics and strengthening our mutual legal assistance cooperation.”
President Barack Obama’s efforts to “reset” relations with Russia have met a markedly colder wind from the Kremlin since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in May. Faced with unprecedented street protests against his 12-year rule, Putin accused the U.S. State Department of staging the protests in order to weaken Russia.