Russia's Anti-Drugs Body Set for Chop Amid Narcotics Epidemic | News

Denis Abramov / VedomostiA billboard advertising the hotline of the Federal Drug Control Service, which appears set to be disbanded.

The Russian government is likely to disband the Federal Drug Control Service, according to an official document obtained by The Moscow Times.

The document, signed on Feb. 10 by Larisa Brychyova, head of the legal directorate of the presidential administration, cites an order by President Vladimir Putin to dissolve the agency from March 1.

The agency's functions will be redistributed among the Interior and Health ministries, according to the document.

Business daily Vedomosti reported Monday that the agency is being liquidated due to budget considerations.

Putin's proposal will be considered by the Cabinet before becoming official, a process that is generally no more than a technicality for Kremlin initiatives.

The Federal Drug Control Service was established in 2003 on the foundations of the Federal Tax Police Service and employs about 35,000 people, having been ordered by Putin in 2012 to cut its staff by 5,000 people by 2016, state news agency Interfax reported. The service was allocated more than 29.5 billion rubles ($473 million) from the

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