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EU and Russia to negotiate deal over cleaning chemical drug precursors.

THE EUROPEAN Commission has been given a mandate by European Union (EU) ministers to start negotiations with Russia over a deal to cooperate in preventing the diversion of cleaning and a limited range of other chemicals into the illicit drug trade.

This initiative comes after the striking of a similar deal between the EU and China over fighting the abuse of these so-called drug precursors. Chemicals used in soaps are a particularly well-noted source of these chemicals, said a European Commission note. It explained: "Drug precursors are inoffensive chemical substances legally used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as medicines, soaps or perfumes. However, they also may be misused for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamines." A good example is butyl alcohol, used in industrial cleaners--it also converts cocaine base to cocaine hydrochloride. Potassium carbonate makes soaps, but also coca paste and cocaine base.
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Author:Nuthall, Keith
Publication:International News
Date:May 1, 2009
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