On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)
Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.
Over the period 2008-2016, Russia’s support of the region exceeded $6bn. This includes financial aid on a bilateral basis, which amounted to $4.5bn. Multilateral assistance is provided through UN institutions (over $600 m.), World Bank and other organizations (over $600 m.), Eurasian Stabilization and Development Fund ($592 m.).
Russia has allocated dozens of tons of various goods, including products and vehicles, for Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As a gesture of goodwill, the Russian Government wrote off the debts of these countries ($488 m. and $865 m. respectively). Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan regularly receive Russia’s support in the form of tax-free supplies of oil and petroleum products.
More than 100,000 families in Central Asia have already received hundreds of thousands of tons of food and seeds. 46,000 students from the region study in the Russian universities with the Russian state-financed support (about $100 m. annually). The accumulated Russian investment in the countries of Central Asia amounts to $20bn.