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US Spent 621 Million Dollars Tackling Russian Influence in Balkans, CEE, V4

State Department report reveals scale of US investment in countering Russia’s influence in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans since 2017.

The Inspectorate of the US State Department has published a report on its “Countering Russian Influence Fund”, CRIF, which reveals that it spent just over a billion US dollars – 1,021,251,330 dollars to be exact – on funding “civil society organizations and other entities . . . for rule of law, media, cyber, and other programs that strengthen democratic institutions and processes, and counter Russian influence and aggression”.

It invested most of that sum, $621,555,857 million, in Central Eastern European, Balkan and V4 countries, from 2017 until 2021, BIRN has calculated.

The largest single amount went to Moldova – $98,172,456 – followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina ($80,846,580), North Macedonia ($67,472,572) and then Romania ($66,146,297. Kosovo got $61,157,070), Serbia $55,567,000 and Montenegro $50,021,746.

CRIF’s purpose is to assist countries “vulnerable to influence and aggression by the Russian Federation that lack the economic capabilities to effectively respond”.

“CRIFassistance is provided to North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union member countries, as well as countries seeking membership in those organizations, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine,” the report says.

CRIF programs are designed to achieve trhe goals of “Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act”, CAATSA, countering Russian influence and supporting the State Department and US Agency for International Development USAID’s Joint Strategic Plan and Joint Regional Strategy.

Source: Balkan Insight