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Aid for Georgia also intended for Abkhazia, S.Ossetia - MEP2008-10-25 16:55
Aid pledged to Georgia at a recent international donors meeting should go to all of the country, including South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the leader of a European Parliament delegation said in Moscow on Saturday, reports RIA-Novosti.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"In principle, the aid is intended for every region that in our understanding is part of Georgia, including for Abkhazia and South Ossetia" said Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the co-chair of the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.
Russia recognized the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states on August 26, two weeks after Moscow's military operation to "force Georgia to peace" that came in response to Tbilisi's attack on South Ossetia.
The Russian response was criticized in the West as "disproportionate."
A conference of international donors gathered on Wednesday in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to discuss financial assistance to help rebuild Georgia following the fighting.
Moscow on Thursday expressed the hope that countries pledging funds would ensure the aid was not spent on rearming the former Soviet state.
Oomen-Ruijten recognized that Georgia spent a significant part of its budget on defense, but emphasized that one of the conditions for the aid was that it not be spent on military purposes. She also suggested that Georgian estimates of the funding needed seemed a little high.
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.