USAID Will Help Democratic Institutions in Selected Countries Defend Against Kremlin Intervention
A spokesman for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) spoke on Thursday about a new program to help democratic institutions protect themselves from Kremlin interference.
The program is called “Combating the Kremlin’s Malicious Influence” and is designed to help countries such as Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova defend their elections, counter propaganda and avoid energy dependence on Russia.
The initiative was first announced in Paris this July. On Thursday, USAID Assistant Administrator Brock Bierman spoke about the program to diplomats in Warsaw, reassuring them that Washington remains committed to democracy across a region that spiraled out of Moscow’s control three decades ago..
According to Birman, the Kremlin is using “soft power aggression” by interfering in elections across the region, waging information warfare and fostering corruption..
“The Kremlin behaves this way because it has nothing to offer. He has nothing to offer in terms of freedom, prosperity or security, – he notes. “USAID will not sit idly by while the Kremlin tries to shatter what countries have fought so hard and so long for.”.
According to Birman, the program will support independent journalism and fact-checking in Moldova and the Balkans, as well as help diversify energy resources so that the Russian energy sector does not remain an instrument of political pressure..
He stressed several times that the initiative was directed against the Kremlin, but not against Russian citizens..
According to Wojciech Przybylski, editor of Visegrad Insight magazine, which writes about Central European affairs, the information that the United States is trying to support democracy throughout Europe is encouraging..
“The fact that the American government agency is making efforts to show that the Americans are opposing the Kremlin, and in the very territory that the Kremlin disputes and where Moscow would prefer not to admit anyone but itself, serves as a powerful and very correct message , “he said. Przybylski in an interview with Associated Press.
Bierman spoke at the congress of the international coalition of democratic states Community of Democracies, which is based in Warsaw.
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