MOSCOW (AP) — Russia pulled out of an anti-crime accord with the United States on Wednesday, the latest sign of rising tensions between Moscow and Washington.
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 reflected 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 U.S. for providing $12 million in aid for crime-fighting projects under the accord, but said Moscow no longer needs such assistance.
"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," it said in a statement, adding that Moscow was ready to continue cooperation with the U.S. in fighting crime, including drug-trafficking.
A U.S. embassy spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
The agreement is just one of several bilateral cooperation deals that Moscow has decided to abandon. Last year, Russia expelled the U.S. International Development Agency and also warned it wouldn't extend the Nunn-Lugar program helping it dismantle nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons stockpiles.
On Friday, the U.S. withdrew from a joint civil society group.
President Barack Obama's efforts to "reset" relations with Russia have met a markedly colder wind from the Kremlin since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in May. Faced with unprecedented street protests against his 12-year rule, Putin accused the U.S. State Department of staging the protests in order to weaken Russia. Continued...