Ukraine’s ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, said on Tuesday that the US plans to loan $1 billion to the country’s new authorities are illegal.
“Indeed, in accordance with the amendments introduced to the 1961 law (Foreign Assistance Act) a few years ago the provision of foreign assistance is prohibited to ‘the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.’ The relevant provision is contained in22 US Code § 8422,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Thus, by all criteria the provision of funds to the illegitimate [Kiev] regime, which seized power by force, is unlawful and goes beyond the boundaries of the US legal system,” the statement added.
However, the ministry said it realizes that the American side “would hardly recognize this obvious fact” due to the stance it has already taken in the Ukrainian crisis.
“The US administration will most probably continue to close its eyes on the dominance of the ultranationalist forces in Kiev, which have launched a hunt for dissidents across the country, increasing pressure on the Russian-speaking population and our compatriots, threatening the people in the Crimea with punishment for their desire for self-determination,” the ministry stressed.
Moscow has also urged the decision makers in the US to think hard about the possible consequences of “reckless indulgence of radical Nazi-oriented elements in Ukraine.”
The US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Washington is preparing a $1 billion loan for the coup-imposed government of Ukraine during his visit to Kiev last week.
Yanukovich, who wants to challenge the lawfulness of the American aid to Kiev in US courts and Congress, “has some very legitimate points to be raised,” senior editor of Executive Intelligence Review, Jeffrey Steinberg, told RT.
Prohibition of American financial support to governments, which came to power via a coup, “isn’t some esoteric issue” as it has been applied just recently, he stressed.
US Code § 8422 saw the US Congress freezing financial aid to Egypt, following the 2013 military coup, which resulted in the ousting of president, Mohamed Morsi.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi (Reuters / Jacquelyn Martin)
However, this January the senators authorized President Obama to send about $1 billion in aid to the Northern African state.
“There was a ferocious debate in the Obama administration and in the congress over whether it was to be technically labeled a coup,” Steinberg stressed. “And ironically under that debate Senator John McCain was one of the leading voices arguing for a total cut off of all the military aid to Egypt. So now he’s on the exactly opposite side of the same debate.”
According to the Executive Intelligence Review senior editor, Washington is using the law as a “political football.”
“It’s applied in instances where it suits the policies of the administration and certain hardline allies in congress. And it’s freely ignored when it’s inconvenient truce,” he said.
And, in the case of Ukraine, “nobody can dispute” that Yanukovich’s democratically elected government was “overthrown by military force, involving the most severe right wing neo-Nazi and Neo fascist elements,” Steinberg concluded.
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