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OPINION: US Aid to Ukraine Fails to Promote Democracy

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(updated 18:35 28.10.2014)
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A major aid package sent by the United Stated to crisis-torn Ukraine has little effect in promoting democracy, Ivan Eland, National Security Analyst for the Independent Institute, told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

WASHINGTON, April 23 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - A major aid package sent by the United Stated to crisis-torn Ukraine has little effect in promoting democracy, Ivan Eland, National Security Analyst for the Independent Institute, told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

“If the US indeed was supporting these people, it seems to contradict the purpose of the aid, which is to promote democracy,” Eland claimed.

US Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that Washington would provide Ukraine with additional $50 million to assist the current Kiev government with economic and political reforms.

The aid comes on top of a previously announced package including $1 billion in loan guarantees and about $11.4 million to promote free, fair, and peaceful elections on May 25.

Apart from that, the United States also committed $8 million in non-lethal military aid to support the Ukrainian army. The package comprises bomb-disposal equipment, sleeping bags, tents, helmets, water-purification systems and medicine.

As part of the aid package America is also handing out communications devices to Ukrainian people. According to Ivan Eland, these gadgets could be used for military purposes.

“The assistance is technically nonlethal, but in this case it might be a force multiplier. Even though you are not handing out guns, you are handing out communications equipment, which can be used to enhance the effects of any weapons that the Ukrainians might have.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier called Washington’s offer “worthless,” as there were no banks willing to finance the recovery of crisis-hit Ukraine.

Kiev currently owes Moscow some $35.4 billion, which was provided over the last four years as a subsidy via gas discounts.

Late last year Moscow also agreed to invest a hefty $15 billion in Ukrainian Eurobonds with the first tranche of $3 billion disbursed in December. Moscow and Kiev also agreed to steeply cut gas prices for Ukraine in an effort to boost the country’s sluggish economy.

The cash injections and discounts were frozen following a coup amid violent protests that led to far-right parties gaining key positions in the new government.

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democracy