Trump’s 2018 budget proposes “drastic funding cuts” for Kiev, Belarus, and Poland


April 25, 2017 – Fort Russ News – – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

The Donald Trump Administration is planning drastic funding cuts for developing countries including Ukraine and Belarus. The administration’s draft budget document proposes cutting spending on aid for Kiev by nearly 70% and for Belarus and Poland by 100%. 

Foreign Policy cites an internal budgetary document and its sources in saying that Donald Trump is planning as part of his “America first” doctrine to merge USAID with the State Department.

In 2018, these funds would be reduced by more than a third. In addition, the budget document supposes the redirecting of funding from developmental aid towards programs closely linked to national security targets. The document also includes details on how the Trump Administration intends to reduce direct foreign support in the 2018 budget.

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The Ukrainian agency Unian points out that such significant cuts will affect countries “considered strategically important,” including Ukraine. Foreign aid for “supporting political and economic reforms” could be reduced by 68.8%. Previously, Ukraine has received more than a billion dollars from USAID.

The cuts could apply to Belarus as well. The leading Belarusian opposition figure Franak Viacorka has complained that the Americans want to liquidate practically all the funds allocated for Belarus’ opposition. A similar situation could affect Poland and Montenegro. Both countries, according to the project, would completely lose American financial aid. In Poland’s case, this is around $3 million annually. William Taylor, former US Ambassador to Ukraine under President George W. Bush, emphasized that one of Washington’s main goals for Kiev is to “encourage them to move towards European institutions.” He also suggested that such drastic cuts in spending on Ukraine threaten the country’s rapprochement with Russia.

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Foreign Policy also points out that due to the strong opposition from both the Democrats and the Republicans against cutting foreign aid, Congress is unlikely to agree to all the proposed reductions in spending. 

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