WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 led to a deterioration in relations between the West and Russia, with Western media alleging Russian involvement in the conflict. Russia repeatedly denied the allegations and asked for proof, which West has not been able to provide.
In May 2015, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the West had imposed an information blockade on the events in Ukraine, and urged international observers to provide factual assessments to the issue.
"Since 2014, the total appropriation now, State Department, USAID [US Agency for International Development], BBG (Broadcast Board of Governors) on the US side is about $100 million to counter Russian propaganda," Nuland told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Nuland noted that the money is applied on a number of "things."
"[The money goes] from clean honest Russian programming that BBG is putting out every day, the expansion of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, VOA [Voice of America] to about $ 88 million that we use in State Department and AID to support civil society, independent media, journalists training, including outside Russia — Russian journalists who have fled."
Nuland added that Washington is also trying to programming inside Russia.
"But this pales in comparison to the $400 million at least that Russia is spending and frankly to the levels that we spent during the Cold War on this kind of things which were over $1 billion a year."
In June 2015, US Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate bill calling for a total of $728.2 million to enable the BBG to carry out international communications activities.