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Russia Accuses USAID of Political Interference
21.09.2012 12:41
Russia Accuses USAID of Political Interference

Russia's Foreign Ministry says the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is forced to cease its activity in Russia because the agency had "tried to affect the course of the political process in the country by its use of grants."

      According to the Ministry, USAID will cease operating in Russia on October 1. The organization has been active in Russia over the past two decades, giving special grants to Russian non-commercial companies and targeting problems of health, education, science and human rights in Russia.

      However, Russia's Foreign Ministry accuses USAID of "issuing grants in an attempt to affect the course of the political process in the country, including elections at different levels and institutions in civil society."

      The Ministry adds that Moscow is always ready to work together with USAID in third countries, but Russian society is now mature enough to manage without any "external direction."

      Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a leading Russian human rights activist and the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, disagreed with the ministry statement, saying her organization was receiving grants from USAID, but no political strings were attached.

      "The biggest grants USAID every gave us were for the monitoring of the human rights situation in Russia. It had nothing to do with interference in politics."

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Russian human rights activists human rights in Russia USAID Russian Foreign Ministry  

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