U.S. and Russian officials have opened a customs control center in Moscow aimed at improving Russia's ability to prevent illegal trafficking in nuclear-related materials.

Before the center opened Thursday, customs offices along Russia's expansive border regions communicated with their Moscow headquarters primarily by telephone. The new U.S.-funded center provides electronic data transfer between the outposts and Moscow.

Russian officials say the customs offices managed to block 200 attempts to take radioactive materials into or out of the country last year.

Since 1998, the United States has spent millions of dollars to assist Russia in preventing trafficking in nuclear materials and equipment.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.