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Russia urges donors to check how Georgia spends aid2008-10-23 15:36
Moscow hopes that countries pledging funds to rebuild Georgia will ensure the aid is not spent on rearming the former Soviet state, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, reports RIA-Novosti.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"It is important not to allow a new round of militarization by Tbilisi's regime and a repeat of the August tragedy in the Caucasus," the source said.
A conference of international donors gathered on Wednesday in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to discuss financial assistance to help rebuild Georgia following the brief armed conflict between Tbilisi and Moscow in August.
"Moscow hopes that donor countries and organizations will establish effective controls over the use of financial aid and material resources allocated to Georgia," the source said.
According to a joint assessment from the World Bank and the United Nations, Georgia will need around $3.4 billion in foreign donations over the next three years to support its economy, rebuild damaged infrastructure and help refugees who lost their homes during the conflict.
In Brussels, Germany pledged 170 million euros ($218 million), Norway 235 million kroner ($34 mln), Ukraine $21 million, Latvia $700,000 and Italy $3.8 million.
The European Commission earlier pledged up to 500 million euros ($662.3 million) for the country up to 2010, with the U.S. offering around $1 billion.
Russia, which was condemned by most Western powers for its "disproportionate" response to Georgia's August attack on South Ossetia, was not invited to the conference, due to its decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another Georgian breakaway region, as independent states on August 26.