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USA to punish Georgia with money2011-02-21 19:45
Barack Obama's administration submitted the plans on providing financial assistance to foreign states to the Congress. In 2012, Washington will continue sponsoring democratic and non-democratic regimes in various countries. Georgia will also get its share. It remains among the White House's financial favourites; however, its share will be reduced by several percent. Experts know that the subsidy amount directly depends on the extent of the State Department's support of this or that country. Consequently, the USA now trust Georgia four percent less.
However, Georgian authorities mustn't grumble: their country remains one of the most sponsored by the United States. Tbilisi will roll in American money in 2012. Besides 85 million dollars of direct financial assistance provided to the Georgian budget, large amounts will be received by the country in the context of the programs of various funds.
What are the U.S. going to sponsor? Half of the money allocated to the former Soviet countries for military purposes will go on "defense and re-equipment of the Georgian armed forces", which is about 18 million dollars. That's clear, for Georgia still fears the "possible aggression on Russia's part" and managed to sell its phobias to the strategic ally to advantage. Just compare: Uzbekistan, which borders with Afghanistan, will get only 100 thousand dollars next year in the context of a military program sponsored by the USA and must be glad with it, for the country got nothing over the previous five years.
Almost 67 million dollars will be appropriated to Georgia for civil programs, which is also the largest American subsidy in the region.
Nevertheless, the reduction of American appropriations is an important sign for Tbilisi: the trend is obvious. It is no secret for an observer that the US' financial assistance directly depends on the extent of political support provided by Washington to the sponsored country. In 2012, Sakartvelo will surely stay among favourites but four percent - a significant amount in monetary terms - means a lot.
The U.S. State Department's budget will increase a bit next year, which means that Tbilisi has lost several million not because of the global economic crisis but for other, purely political reasons. Not wishing to frighten mistrustful Georgians, meticulous officials at the American foreign policy administration accompanied the new subsidies layout with an explanation of the reasons of their reduction. Here is a fragment of this boring statement.
"Since Georgia's basic infrastructure needs have been satisfied and the top-priority tasks of rehabilitation after the August conflict with Russia 2008 have been completed, the money appropriated to Georgia in 2012 will be spent on supporting the long-term efforts on creating strong democratic institutes and tools for an extensive economic growth", - the State Department explained.
Now the White House recommends Georgia to focus on the development of a civil society, independent media and self-sufficient economy institutes. Yesterday, while answering a question from one of the Georgian non-government organizations, U.S. State Secretary's spokeswoman said there is neither an independent civil society, nor self-sufficient economy institutes in Georgia, which is another important sign for local authorities.