MOSCOW, November 18 (RAPSI) – Cooperation between Russian and US drug police has dropped considerably amid the sanctions implemented against Russia, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday, citing Federal Drugs Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov.

He added that joint operations with European drug services are continuing so far.

Ivanov said that Russia and US were involved in judicial cooperation, information exchange on designer drugs, and the use of internet as a tool to sell drugs.

Ivanov announced a meeting with several European drug authorities next week, to discuss a year-long joint operation. He added that transnational crime does not impose sanctions on each other, and show more resolve.

Drug abuse remains a major problem in Russia. According to the Federal Drugs Control Service, there has been a 30% drop in drug-related deaths among young people in Russia in the past 14 years. The number of such deaths decreased from over 130,000 in 2000 to 82,000 in 2013.

According to the official drug police statistic, about 8 million Russians used drugs and almost 150,000 people were jailed for drug-related crimes in 2013. The UN says that Russia, a nation of 142 million people, accounts for about 20% of the world's heroin consumption.