The head of the Russian international aid agency (Rossotrudnichestvo) has said the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are the priority targets of Moscow's newly confirmed international development cooperation program.
Agency director Konstantin Kosachev said in an interview published by "Kommersant" on April 25 that "our closest neighbors are priority No. 1."
He added that Russia's assistance should be designed not only to help solve "global problems," but also "at the realization of our own Russian national interests."
Kosachev also said one lesson of Ukraine is that citizens of that country have not been aware of all the assistance Russia has provided in recent years.
"Many in Ukraine have the feeling that Russia has not helped Ukraine at all but has only interfered," he said. "And this is absolutely not true."
Kosachev said that when Russia provides aid through the World Bank, the credit goes to World Bank officials, "and in those positions, as a rule, you find not Russians, but Americans and Europeans."