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Russia cancels US aid accord

Pact helped fight drugs, abuses

MOSCOW — In another apparent tit for tat provoked by the Magnitsky Act, Russia on Wednesday said it was withdrawing from an agreement that provided help from the United States in fighting narcotics and human trafficking and improving the rule of law.

The decision was announced on a government website, in a statement from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. His order canceled a 2002 agreement that also was meant to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights. In his statement, Medvedev said the agreement ‘‘does not address current realities.’’

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The move comes after a back and forth set off by the Magnitsky Act, which imposes visa and financial sanctions by the United States on corrupt Russian officials. Russia countered with a ban on American adoptions, and last week the United States withdrew from a Russian-American group on civil society, saying Russian policy made such a panel ineffective.

‘‘Withdrawal from this agreement means that we have become absolutely self-sufficient both organizationally and financially,’’ Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, told the Interfax news agency Wednesday. ‘‘This is our course toward getting rid of some dependence on the US.’’

Pushkov said it was unlikely the action could lead to further deterioration of relations.

‘‘After the Americans passed the so-called Magnitsky Act, they themselves added serious tension to our relations and negative consequences from the adoption of that act are much worse than the decision to pull out of the intergovernmental agreement,’’ he said.

Since 2002, hundreds of Russian prosecutors and investigators have participated in US-sponsored programs in Moscow and have traveled to the United States. Their American counterparts have gone to Russia to improve cooperation in fighting crime worldwide.

The programs, overseen by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, were funded at $6.1 million in 2011.

Russia also announced Wednesday that effective Feb. 11, it would ban American pork and beef imports because of the use of a controversial feed additive called ractopamine.

The move, which affects about $500 million a year in imports, was expected.

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