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Chechnya offering more substantial aid to eastern Ukraine than superpower US

Two announcements on aid to restore infrastructure damaged in combat operations in eastern regions of Ukraine came right one after the other. US Vice President Joseph Biden said his country would grant $7 million to Ukraine for these aims. Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Russian Chechen republic's 1.3 million population, said he would immediately grant financial aid worth $7.5 million to Ukraine's eastern regions. "We have not heard Joseph Biden's statements and we are not comparing amounts of aid from the United States and the people of the Chechen republic to residents of eastern regions of Ukraine who come under massive military strikes from the Ukrainian army and mercenary armed groups," Kadyrov said in an interview with ITAR-TASS.

"The republican budget does not give a possibility to allocate major funds to help those affected. That is why $7.5 million to eastern Ukraine will be allocated from the regional public fund named after Hero of Russia Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov," the Chechen leader said.

"Money will be targeted first of all to the purchase of reanimation cars for emergency aid to people injured in a military operation by the Kiev authorities, for the purchase of medical appliances, medicines and bandaging material. Mobile power generators will also be bought for clinics in the east of Ukraine," Kadyrov added.

"The Chechen people have shown exceptional generosity in the issue of assistance to people affected in the east of Ukraine. For the past 24 hours, we have been monitoring the reaction of the population to this proposal, and there has not been a single voice against, not a single question 'Why allocating money for another country when Chechnya itself has people in need?'" he said.

"Joseph Biden pledged $7 million for restoration of Ukraine's east in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yastsenyuk who had sent in his resignation. This is meager money for the United States, which will be taken from non-budget funds - from deductions to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees," said director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov. "Ukrainian oligarchs in the person of the country's president Poroshenko and Dnepropetrovsk region governor Kolomoisky - even they could have donated more for the restoration of infrastructure in the east of Ukraine.

"Seven million dollars is certainly not assistance to the affected east of Ukraine, but a sop to Arseny Yatsenyuk to save his political future," said the expert, who is also a member of the Russian Civic Chamber.

"Not only is the US but also the European Union in no hurry to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse. Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that in order to get financial aid from the EU, the Ukrainian government must coordinate with international agencies a plan of economic measures," the expert said.

"At the end of 2013, Russia granted a loan worth $15 billion to Ukraine, with the first $3 billion immediately transferred to the Ukrainian budget. But because of the coup of February 22, 2014, crediting of Ukraine was suspended until the situation in the country stabilized," the expert added.

"Russia is interested in a prosperous Ukraine, while the West would like to see Ukraine as anti-Russia. That is why the United States intends to offer mainly military assistance to Kiev," Markov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Jul14]

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