September 19, 2012 - 13:12 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia's Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday, Sept 19, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is ending its activity in Russia, according to RIA Novosti.
"The Foreign Ministry confirms the closure of USAID [in Russia]", a ministry source said, adding more information would be released "soon."
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland announced the termination of USAID's activity in Russia on Tuesday.
“The United States recently received the Russian Government’s decision to end USAID activities in the Russian Federation,” Nuland said in a statement. “We are extremely proud of what USAID has accomplished in Russia over the past two decades, and we will work with our partners and staff to responsibly end or transition USAID’s programs.”
USAID's move comes in response to the Russian government’s decision to halt USAID’s programs in the country, the State Department said.
Senior Russian officials have portrayed some of these programs - such as those funding election monitoring and human rights groups critical of the Kremlin - as attempts by a foreign nation to undermine Russia’s sovereignty.
USAID, which operates in more than 100 countries, has been operating in Russia over the past two decades. Its array of social programs have targeted issues such as at-risk youth and pressing public health issues like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.