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Draft U.S. Budget Bans Aid to Governments Recognizing Abkhazia, S.Ossetia Independence
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 May.'17 / 17:50

The United States House of Representatives draft of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2017 prohibits American aid to the governments that have recognized independence of the Russian-occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

The annual Act is the appropriations legislation that defines spending by various United States federal agencies.

According to the document, “none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for assistance for the central government of a country that the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations has recognized the independence of, or has established diplomatic relations with, the Russian occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.”

The document further stipulates that none of the funds appropriated by the Act may be made available to support the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

In addition, the document states that the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive directors of international financial institutions to vote against any assistance for any of their programs (including any loan, credit, or guarantee) that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

The Appropriations Act also envisions a report to be submitted to congressional committees by the Secretary of State no later than 90 days after enactment of the Act “on actions taken by the Russian Federation to further consolidate the occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, including the estimated annual costs of such occupation.”

The Act includes many references to Russia, mostly to the need of countering Moscow’s assertive foreign policy. Among other measures, the document stipulates that “not less than $100,000,000 shall be made available for assistance to counter Russian influence and aggression in countries in Europe and Eurasia.” These funds “shall be in addition to amounts made available for bilateral assistance for such countries.”

The document says that the funds used to assist the Eastern Partnership countries shall support implementation of these countries’ Association Agreements and trade agreements with the European Union, and “to reduce their vulnerability to external economic and political pressure from the Russian Federation.”

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