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You're reading: Russia accuses USAID of trying to sway elections

MOSCOW — Russia has explained its decision to put an end to the U.S. Agency for International Development's work in Russia by saying the U.S. government agency was using its money to influence elections.

The State Department announced Russia’s decision on Tuesday, Sept.18.

Foreign
Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Wednesday that through
its grants, USAID was attempting “to influence … political processes,
including elections on various levels, and institutions of civil
society.”

Nearly 60 percent of the agency’s $50 million annual budget went toward the promotion of democracy and civil society in Russia. Some of this money went to support Russia’s
only independent election monitoring group, which fielded thousands of
observers in last winter’s parliamentary and presidential elections and
compiled reports of vote fraud nationwide.

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