Russia on Wednesday has demanded an end to USAID activities in the country until October 1 this year.
Reports say Russia sent a letter to United States last week saying it didn’t need Washington’s help anymore.
In her statement at Washington DC today, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland confirmed that 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.” -Ms. Nuland
However, Ms. Nuland pointed out that while USAID’s physical presence in Russia will come to an end, the United States remains committed to supporting democracy, human rights, and the development of a more robust civil society in Russia.
The US govenrment looks forward to continuing its cooperation with Russian non-governmental organizations, Ms. Nuland added.
The USAID has worked in Russia since the Soviet Union’s demise 20 years ago. The aid agency is promoting what a more open and innovative society and a strengthened partnership between Russia and the United States.
Reports say the USAID has spent some $2.7 billion. It planned $50 million in programs this year.
In July 2012, recognizing the growing threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to US deployed forces, allies, and partners, the United States of America has underlined its commitment to pursue missile defense cooperation with Russia.
Missile defense cooperation with Russia is a Presidential priority, as it has been for several Administrations going back to President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.
Successful missile defense cooperation would provide concrete benefits to Russia, NATO Allies, and the United States and will strengthen strategic stability over the long term.
Close cooperation between Russia and the United States and NATO is the best and most enduring way for Russia to gain the assurance that European missile defenses cannot and will not undermine its strategic deterrent.
The United States believes that such cooperation can enhance the security of the United States, its allies in Europe, and Russia.
President Obama has also indicated that the US can’t limit the U.S. and NATO missile defense system to a legally binding framework.
However, President Obama has repeatedly stressed both publicly and privately that U.S. and NATO missile defense efforts are not intended nor are they capable of threatening Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrence forces.
United States and Russia have been working together to transform mistrust into partnerships and progress as both countries affirmed cooperation in keeping global security after the end of the Cold War.
In an effort to promote understanding and cooperation on missile defense issues, Presidents Obama and Medvedev agreed at the July 2009 Moscow Summit to conduct joint assessments of missile challenges and threats as well.