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U.S Congress gives Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova support to receive major non-NATO ally status

By Ana Robakidze
Friday, July 18
The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress, provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The congress said the act was adopted in order to prevent further Russian aggression towards Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia.

Congress said that in order to be treated as a major non-NATO ally the country must have a democratically elected government that came to power pursuant of free and fair elections and it should respect the political and legal rights of its citizens, including maintaining the right of its citizens to democratically elect their government. Also the country should fully cooperate with the United States on matters of mutual security concern, including counterterrorism matters.

The progress of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova will be monitored by the U.S government. Once a year the U.S President should provide to the appropriate congressional committees a report assessing whether Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova should continue to be treated, for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services, as major non-NATO allies and whether the treatment should be expanded or reduced.

The act directs the president Barak Obama to increase U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia and the U.S. and NATO security assistance to such states. Accordingly, the act considers countries of the former Soviet Union to be in need of strengthening democratic institutions, political and civil society organizations, as well as the independent media. They also need to increase educational and cultural exchanges with countries of the former Soviet Union.

Congress directed the Secretary of State to hold former Soviet Countries to increasing democratic standards. Also it ruled out that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction should provide Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova with assistance in exploiting natural gas and oil reserves and to developing alternative energy sources.

Georgian military expert Giorgi Tavdgiridze welcomes the U.S Congress’ decision to make Georgia one of its close military allies. Speaking to Frontnews agency, Tavdgiridze said the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 is a very important document for Georgia and it will help to simplify military cooperation between the two states. However, the expert says Georgia should remain focused on its own sources of defense and should not rely only on its partners.