Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The State Department will allocate $800,000 for the financing of Ukrainian civil society organizations, which will monitor local governments for corruption, and for the improvement of relationships with regional media. The corresponding grant on the search for a contractor was published on the government website of disclosure of the applicants for financial support. Experts are sure: the drop in rating of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko concerns Americans. By investing money in such programs, Washington is trying to provide him with an opportunity to stay in the driving seat.
In search of NGOs
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the U.S. Department of State is looking for NGOs that, up to 17th January 2017, will provide a program of control of financial activities of Ukrainian officials, local media, and other structures by activists and public organizations. The United States will allocate a grant to the amount of $800,000 for it.
“Organizations that are applying for this grant must provide a program of involvement of Ukrainian public organizations in order to unite them into one network,” it is reported in the description of the grant. “Thus, in the framework of the project a control mechanism should be developed from the side of the activists and organizations to monitor the financial operations of local authorities, and also a plan should be prepared of cooperation between activists and regional media”.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, as is specified in the document, will play a significant role in the implementation of the program.
“Staff of the State Department will approve the annual plan of the program. In addition, the office will coordinate all actions of the grantee: events, travel, monetary expenditure,” it is said in the document.
One of the criteria for being selected for a grant is cooperation with certain groups of citizens and various minorities.
“The Bureau encourages applications from organizations working with women, youth, persons with disabilities, representatives of ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBT community,” it is noted in the description. “The grant money not spent during the implementation of the program can be personal profit.”
Washington rolls out large sums
Since 2008, the U.S. government has repeatedly allocated large sums for work with the Ukrainian media, entrepreneurs, and civil society activists. Grants were distributed through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Thus, in March 2013, DRL provided a grant of $500,000 for the preparation of the population for parliamentary and presidential elections, which on June 7th, 2014, resulted in Petro Poroshenko coming to power.
In the winter of last year, the US government financed a project that, as is specified in the description, had to “provide Ukrainian media the opportunity to interact with colleagues from the USA, and also to promote the development of independent Ukrainian media, which is crucial for the further democratic development of Ukraine”. The same grant was allocated in 2012. It amounted to $400,000.
In August 2015, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), whose work is controlled by the Secretary of State, allocated $8 million for the program PULSE – The Policy of Local Self-government in Ukraine. The aim of this project was to support regional parliaments and the decentralization of power in the country.
Earlier, Russian media reported that the U.S. State Department cooperates with many Ukrainian NGOs, like the Kharkov human rights group, Zhytomyr youth organization, the Ukrainian independent center for political research, the civil network “OPORA”, and others.
Again the do the same as before
In 2015, the media reported that the National Endowment for Democracy played a significant role in the preparation of the coup in Kiev. From 2011 to 2014, the Fund transferred about $14 million to Ukrainian NGOs, which covered the media, mass demonstrations, supplied journalists working in places of protest actions, protective equipment, and the organization of youth movements.
“NED specialists are very familiar with the subtleties of the Ukrainian mentality, and proved to be successful in working with the population two years ago,” explained the political analyst Nikolay Shlyamin.
His colleague Sergey Sudakov noted that no major grants from the US government will go to an unproven organization.
“The government has to be confident in the loyalty of those who are assigned similar projects. After all, their aim is espionage and preparing the ground to implement pro-American policy,” said the scientist, explaining why the money for Ukrainian programs will more likely than not will come from the Funds of the influential American financier and lobbyist George Soros.
To save Poroshenko
Political analyst Nikolay Shlyamin is sure: the U.S. government decided to allocate a grant in the first place because the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has lost the confidence of not only society, but also the media. According to Ukrainian media, the rating of the President of Ukraine has decreased almost five-fold over the past two years. And in 2019, the country will hold elections for a new President.
“The activists, who will work in the country in this program, and on the money of this grant, will penetrate state structures in order to monitor the expenses of officials, and then will publish reports on the expenditure from the state budget. In addition, they will attract the media, who will highlight the process of the fight against corruption in the country. In this case, there is a chance that Americans will be able to keep their favourite in the driving seat for the upcoming presidential elections,” the expert believes.
According to Shlyamin, Ukrainians are disappointed in the administration of Poroshenko, who promised to introduce a visa-free regime with EU countries and to eradicate corruption in the country.
“During Poroshenko, Ukraine failed to enter the EU and become a NATO member. In domestic politics there is also continuous failures,” he recalled.
“To be in time to prevent Trump”
The analyst added that the United States, under the leadership of Barack Obama, strove for full control over Ukraine — a strategically important region of Eastern Europe that is located on the border with Russia. In the fight for Kiev, the US uses “soft power”, introducing its values through cultural education, educational courses, trainings, etc.
“Soon Obama will leave the post of President. So he needs to be in time to allocate the necessary financial resources in order to continue the already-started policies of the Democrats and to prevent the future President Donald Trump from building a new line of cooperation with Ukraine,” says the expert.
DRL, USAID, and the NED, at the time of publication of the material, did not provide RT with their comments on this project.
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