Russia Halts USAID Work, Claiming Meddling in Political Affairs

Ends Support for 'Pro-Democracy' Groups in Blow to Obama Policy

by Jason Ditz, September 18, 2012

The US State Department has announced that Russia has ordered all USAID operations halted in the country, following up on Russian complaints that the agency is meddling in the nation’s internal politics.

The Russian government has complained that President Obama’s move to set aside money for “pro-democracy” funding, which in practice is amounting to them aiding certain opposition parties seen favorable to US interests.

This has been a problem with US “democracy” funding in a number of nations, notably Egypt, where the junta moved against US “aid workers” in the run-up to that election, saying they were illegally campaigning for parties without licenses.

The move is a major blow to what President Obama had been touting as a “reset” of relations with Russia, though the US insists that they will continue to “support democracy” in Russia even without USAID.

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