US boosts aid to Georgia, Moldova amid Ukraine crisis

US Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks at Ledra palace in the UN-patrolled Buffer Zone in Nicosia on May 22, 2014US Vice President Joe Biden pledged new assistance Saturday to ex-Soviet republics Georgia and Moldova aimed at helping them stand up to a resurgent Kremlin and establish closer European ties. Biden held separate meetings with Georgian President Georgy Margvelashvili and his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti on the sidelines of Western-backed tycoon Petro Poroshenko’s inauguration as Ukraine’s head of state. The White House said Biden pledged $5.0 million (3.7 million euros) in additional assistance to Georgia pending Congressional approval. Biden also pledged $8.0 million in assistance to Moldova — Europe’s poorest nation whose eastern Transdniestr region is seeking to merge with Russia — pending Congressional approval to help it “advance its European aspirations”.

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