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Moscow – No more USAID in Russia

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wager!  “Ruushkii oo ka qayliyay hay’adda maraykanka u qaabilsan  horumarinta gargaarka  caalmiga ee dibadda   iyo saddex kalmadood oo kala ah “bulshada rayadka” ah, “xuquuaqal  insaanka iyo dimuquraadiyadda oo uu tuhunsan yahay  in loogu dhuumanayo”. Hay’addaas oo lagu magacaabo marka lasoo gaabiyo USAID ayay sheegeen in dalkooda ay ka joojiyeen.Maraykanka ayaa isaguna dhinaciisa  sidoo kale kahadlay hay’adda  ayaa sheegay inay dhawaan heleen go’aanka Ruushka ee ay ku joojiyeen hawlihii ay hay’addu kawaday Ruushka  sida laga soo xigatay warsaxaafadeed kusoobaxay website rasmiga ah ee Wasaaradda A Dibadda.

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Hoos ka Akhri Faallada.

Boris Volkhonsky

On Tuesday, the US State Department published a press release on its official website, stating, that it is winding up its activities in Russia.
The statement reads,

“The United States recently received the Russian Government’s decision to end USAID activities in the Russian Federation. We are extremely proud of what USAID has accomplished in Russia over the past two decades, and we will work with our partners and staff to responsibly end or transition USAID’s programs. While USAID’s physical presence in Russia will come to an end, we remain committed to supporting democracy, human rights, and the development of a more robust civil society in Russia and look forward to continuing our cooperation with Russian non-governmental organizations.”

So, the State Department “is proud” and it is entirely the Russian Government’s fault and the lack of “a robust civil society” that has forced USAID to halt its activities in Russia. Also, the wording of the statement leads the audience to a conclusion that there is no democracy or human rights in Russia.

Later, the Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained that it had not been the Russian authorities’ decision to halt USAID’s activity in Russia. Such a decision could have been taken if the agency had violated legal rules and norms. “As long as Americans obey these norms, we cannot obviously take any decisions to block the agency’s activity”, Mr. Peskov is quoted by Lenta.ru.

The Russian Foreign Ministry (MID) explained the situation saying that Russia has abandoned its status of a recipient of international aid, since Russian civil society “has become mature enough and no longer needs ‘external guidance’.”

Indeed, it directly contradicts the picture the US State Department is trying to present. If a country no longer needs external guidance, it simply makes the presence of an “external guide” useless, but hardly amounts to any kind of ban. But the situation with USAID is much more complicated.

It should be noted that USAID is not just an ordinary charity whatever its guise might be. It is a US federal agency targeted at securing the US interests under the pretext of promoting the ideals of “civil society”, “human rights” and “democracy”.

Its activities in Russia, throughout the two decades of its presence in the country, have demonstrated it all too obviously. It were the USDAID-connected NGOs (most notable of them being GOLOS – “Voice” or “Vote”) that tried to directly tamper with the electoral process during the latest State Duma elections.

The MID statement also mentions USAID activity in a number of Russia’s regions including the North Caucasus. The official statement does not specify what particular activity is meant, but, knowing what forces in the North Caucasus the US is supporting, one may conclude that they are far from the declared ideals of “human rights” and “civil society”. Their only merit in Washington’s eyes is that they strictly follow orders coming from there.

One has to admit that the “Great Game” on the NGO field is one where the US has distinct advantages over its competitors. This was and is being demonstrated, for example, in India, where local NGOs sponsored from the US staged a wide-scale campaign against the Russian-built atomic power plant at Kudankulam. And quite clearly it is not the fear of a Fukishima-type tragedy that matters there, but simply a competition between Russian and American nuclear agencies. By pressing out Russian nuclear scientists, the US is aiming to fill the empty space afterwards. And this sheer competition is disguised under a highly presentable vest of “protecting the environment”.

Something similar can be applied to USAID’s activity in Russia. Forget about “human rights” and “democracy” – the “Arab spring” has demonstrated what kind of democracy the US is implanting all over the globe. What really matters to Washington is an attempt to alter Russia’s strategy and bring it into accordance with the American one. And if the government is not as servile as the US might hope, another task emerges – that of altering the government by substituting it with obedient pawns.

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Sep 19, 2012

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VOR.