Russia is preparing to liquidate its Federal Drug Control Service (FKSN) before the end of the month, according to a report in the newspaper Vedomosti, which says Vladimir Putin signed an executive order to this effect in late January.

Vedomosti says it’s obtained a letter from Larissa Brycheva, the head of the Kremlin’s legal department, addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko, where she discusses the dismantling of the FKSN, explaining the decision as budget optimization necessitated by Russia’s economic crisis.

The FKSN’s role fighting drug-trafficking crimes is expected to pass to the Interior Ministry, while the Health Ministry will likely inherit the FKSN’s other functions (including the creation of anti-drug advertising and facilitating the rehabilitation of drug addicts). According to Kommersant newspaper, the agency’s current chief, Viktor Ivanov, could join the Kremlin as an advisor to Putin, after the FKSN’s liquidation. 

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