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U.S. plans significant contribution to new Black Sea Fund

14 June 2006 [19:04] - TODAY.AZ
The United States plans to make a substantial contribution to the Black Sea Trust, a new multimillion-dollar fund promoting democracy and cooperation among nine countries in southeast Europe, President Bush's deputy national security adviser says.

The trust will provide grants to focus on enhancing economic and security cooperation, crisis management and democracy in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

In remarks at the Black Sea Forum June 5 in Bucharest, Romania, Deputy National Security Advisor J. D. Crouch said the United States would participate in and make a significant financial contribution to the trust in partnership with the German Marshall Fund, the Romanian government and other donors. Crouch said the United States is supporting other initiatives such as the Black Sea Economic Cooperation initiative and the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative. "We want to hear your ideas on how to cooperate more effectively to address a broader range of issues," Crouch added.

The German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States announced the creation of the trust on June 5 during the Black Sea Forum in Bucharest, Romania. The GMF said it anticipates launching operations of the Black Sea Trust in the fall, with initial contributions of more than $20 million, climbing to more than $40 million as the trust matures.

Contributors include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Romanian government and other private and public donors from the United States and Europe.



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