Response by the Information and Press Department to a question from RBC news agency on the allocation of funds to counter “Russian malign influence” in the US draft budget
Question: Please comment on the allocation of funds to counter “Russian malign influence” in the US draft budget.
Answer: The draft budget for fiscal 2020 was published on the White House website on March 11. It provides for allocating $500 million to counter “Russian malign influence” in many parts of the world. In this connection, the following should be noted:
The stated goals of this funding are nothing new. They also include the need to “advance shared security” and “safeguard the territorial integrity of US allies”, as well as “support partner countries’ efforts to transition away from Russian military equipment, particularly through Foreign Military Finance lending; and address weaknesses in the macro-economic environment that the government of Russia seeks to exploit, such as dependence on energy and trade.”
Even a cursory look at these areas of focus reveals that Washington is using all manner of excuses to justify its active attempts to weaken Russia’s international influence and re-orient other countries toward cooperation with the United States. In addition, this is yet another graphic example of dishonest competition. The Americans are openly trying to undermine our mutually beneficial cooperation with various partners in the economic, energy and military-technical spheres, instead promoting their own companies.
The US administration largely continues the policy of its predecessors. The US budget has long provided for annual spending “to help” East European states and former Soviet republics. In reality, the aim of this funding was to tie them closer to the US. As part of its Russophobic campaign in the last few years, Washington has presented this “help” as part of the efforts against the alleged “Russian threat.”
It is important to understand that usually the Americans spend these funds themselves. They are used to pay for trips of US experts to the countries for which they are formally designated. These experts rent offices and stay in hotels, whereas the governments of these countries naturally see no actual money.
In principle, it is up to the US how to spend its money, although maybe it is time for US citizens to inquire about the efficiency of such spending on patently false aims. At the same time, the public of the countries allegedly being “helped” should recall the tragic results of US hypocrisy in Iraq and Libya, the war in Syria that was provoked and fueled by Washington, and its attempts to stage a coup in Venezuela. All this shows where the malign influence really comes from.