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Russia ends 10-year pact with U.S. to combat crimes

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 7:20 p.m.

MOSCOW — Russia pulled out of an anti-crime accord with the United States on Wednesday in a move that the United States calls“self-defeating” — the latest sign of rising tensions between the two nations.

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 reflects Russia's ability to manage its affairs without outside help.

“Russia is changing the format of its relations with the U.S.,” he tweeted. “We are ending our dependence on ‘the country No. 1.' ”

The Foreign Ministry expressed gratitude to the United States for providing $12 million in aid for crime-fighting projects under the accord.

“From a recipient of Western aid for anti-crime projects, Russia has turned into a donor for such programs in Central Asian nations and Afghanistan,” the ministry said, adding that Russia is ready to continue cooperation in fighting crime, including drug-trafficking.

The agreement is just one of several bilateral cooperation deals that Russia has decided to abandon.

Last year, it expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development and warned it won't extend the Nunn-Lugar program helping it dismantle nuclear, chemicals and biological weapons stockpiles.

Faced with street protests against his 12-year rule, President Vladimir Putin accuses the State Department of staging the protests in order to weaken Russia.

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