Countries Recognizing Breakaway Abkhazia, S. Ossetia Not to Get US Financing in 2020

Countries that recognize the independence of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions will not receive funding from the United States budget in 2020 as the have in the previous three years.

The US Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) appropriations draft bill which, along with the funding for US global health programs at the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), determines US priorities in support and assistance for its partner countries.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the 2020 Fiscal Year Bill contains an important record in terms of the de-occupation and non-recognition of Georgian breakaway regions. According to the ministry, the law provides for an unprecedented increase in budgetary allocations for Georgia.

“The funding provided under this law will not benefit any central government if the US Secretary of State establishes and reports to the Appropriations Committee that the country has recognized or has established diplomatic relations with Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali / South Ossetia,” the statement reads.

It is noteworthy that such a record was made in the law in 2017 and the ministry says that any funding provided by this law may not be used by Russia to support the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“The bill calls on the US Treasury Department to provide appropriate guidance to US Executive Directors of International Financial Institutions in order to prevent them from financing any program (including loan, credit or guarantee) that violates Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Georgian MFA said.

Moreover, the Foreign Ministry underlined that the amount of financial aid allocated to Georgia in the 2020 draft has been significantly increased, to $132,025,000, which is the highest benchmark seen in Georgia-US relations.

Georgia is set to receive $40 million in funding under the Foreign Military Financing Fund (FMF) which is $5 million more than the funding allocated in 2019.

In addition, the bill provides $285 million for Western European and Eurasian countries, including Georgia, to support their Western integration.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry says that according to the draft law, part of the funding should be used to fulfill EU association agreements and trade agreements with Eastern Partnership countries, as well as to reduce the impact of external economic factors and political and economic pressure from the Russian Federation.

To note, the US FY2019 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill reads that it provides increased support for Georgia, with more than $127 million in aid. This is $22 million more than in 2018. The budget allocates $275 million in total for countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia to develop law enforcement and security capabilities, to approximate with the EU and NATO and resist political and economic pressure from Russia. It also prohibits support for any programs which violate Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The August 2008 war left 20% of Georgian territories occupied by Russia, which set up military bases in these regions and deployed its troops there. Following Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Vanuatu also recognized these regions as countries. However, the latter withdrew its recognition in 2013. Last year, Syria also expressed its support to these de facto regions and it was added by the US to the list of countries banned from receiving US aid.

The remainder of the international community says occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia are parts of Georgia and call on Russia to withdraw its forces from these territories.

By Tea Mariamidze

Image source:


07 October 2019 17:00