US promises millions in aid to 3 ex-Soviet states

June 08, 2014 - 2:06:53 am

WASHINGTON: The United States pledged millions of dollars in additional aid to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia yesterday, deepening American support to the Western-leaning countries on Russia’s border.

Vice President Joe Biden announced the extra aid, which must be approved by Congress, during a visit to Kiev for the inauguration of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Washington pledged $48m to Ukraine, $8m to Moldova and $5m to Georgia after Biden met the presidents of the three countries.

Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region from Ukraine in March, after weeks of protests ousted Poroshenko’s pro-Moscow predecessor Victor Yanukovich, has provoked the most serious crisis in relations with the West since the end of the Cold War.

As with Ukraine, there are sharp tensions between Moscow and Moldova and Georgia, where regions have formed breakaway states in reaction to ethnic nationalist regimes, aligning themselves with Russia: Transnistria in the case of Moldova, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the case of Georgia. REUTERS

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