Rewarding Russia's Anti-American Behavior
April 7, 1999
Some analysts contend Russia is addicted to International Monetary Fund loans and has become a financial junkie. Why, they ask, should billions of dollars more of U.S. taxpayers money be funneled to a regime which takes foreign policy positions contrary to U.S. interests?
- Since 1992, the IMF's Russian bailouts have amounted to $27 billion.
- Meanwhile, up to $50 billion of Russian Central Bank reserves -- including IMF loans -- have been siphoned off to secret offshore accounts.
- Russia opposes the current NATO airstrikes against Slobodan Milosevic's forces.
- Moscow continues to send ballistic-missile and nuclear technology to China and Iran, and supports Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq with illicit weapons.
Foreign policy analysts say that Russia's attempts to be the Soviet Union's successor as a superpower -- and therefore a U.S. challenger -- puts it on a collision course with the West. Playing geopolitical games forces Russia's leaders to maintain a large military at great expense to the country's impoverished taxpayers.
An IMF delegation is supposed to meet today with Moscow officials to hammer out details of another $4.8 billion in aid to the country.
Source: Ariel Cohen (Heritage Foundation), "IMF Funds Now Would Reward Russia for Anti-U.S. Behavior," USA Today, April 7, 1999.
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