Russia gave the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) until Oct. 1 to cease operations after two decades and
more than $2.6 billion spent to combat disease, protect the
environment, strengthen civil society and modernize the economy.
In announcing the decision to close down the USAID operation
in Russia, the State Department suggested the Russian government
– which is earning high levels of oil revenues – felt that it
should no longer be the recipient of such foreign aid.
Analysts also suggested a political motive: reducing foreign
support for Russian groups that promote democracy and the rule
of law but that are viewed with deep suspicion by the Kremlin.