Global economy

Russia needed USA for cash and support

Posted on March 18, 2014 | in Politics | by
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Over the last decade, the United States has expanded its influence into what was for centuries  the Russian sphere of influence. In the post-Cold War era of American dominance, Moscow acquiesced. It need Washington for cash and support. But by 2008 Russia was a revived power. In mid-February 2009 the Kyrgyz Republic was finalized its decision to close Manas Air Base, a U.S. base providing essential air support for operations in Afganistan, which was particularly important after the 2005 closure of another air base in Uzbekistan. The motivation was money. The United States had been paying $55 million a year to lease the base and had indicated a willingness to pay $100 million a year. The Russian government, inimically opposed to the idea of a semipermanent U.S. military presence in its backyard, offered a $2.3 billion aid package that dwarfed the American financial support and included $180 million debt cancellation, $150 million in aid, and a $2 billion loan to complete the construction of a hydroelectric power station.

The power plant will be a joint venture and will boost the Kyrgyz Republic`s power output by 40 percent, possibly bringing the country`s power export to its full potential. Even with oil prices down to $40 a barrel, Russia will still be in a position to adopt a more independent foreign policy.

by Fareed Zakaria

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