U.S. to announce $1 billion aid for Georgia: official

Tuesday, Sept 3, 2008

The Bush administration will announce on Wednesday a package of roughly $1 billion dollars in aid to help rebuild war-torn U.S. ally Georgia, which battled Russia over a separatist enclave last month, an administration official said.

The announcement was readied as Vice President Dick Cheney headed for the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine in a trip designed to show Washington stands by its allies in the region despite Russia's military intervention in Georgia.

The planned U.S. aid to Georgia would stretch over several years, the administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. There were no further details of the package immediately available.

But State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Tuesday that the United States was considering how it might provide economic support for Georgia, which saw much of its infrastructure attacked by Russian soldiers during the brief war over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

"One of the real ripple effects of Russia's action has been the need for the outside world to help Georgia and its economy," McCormack said.

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