MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) – Washington’s decision to allocate $1 billion in financial aid to the new government in Kiev contradicts domestic US laws, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The foreign ministry said the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act prohibits financial assistance to the government of any state whose legally elected president was overthrown as a result of a military coup or an unlawful decision.
“All criteria show that allocating money to an illegitimate regime that seized power by violence is illegal and is outside the limits of the US legal system,” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement echoes an idea voiced by exiled Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych at a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don earlier in the day.
“As far as I am aware, the laws of the United States forbid the provision of financial aid to any state where the legally elected president has been overthrown,” Yanukovych said. “I intend to appeal to Congress, the Senate and the Constitutional Court.”
On February 22, Yanukovych was impeached by erstwhile protesters who took control of parliament and banded together with disaffected deputies from the ex-ruling Party of Regions.
The impeachment vote came a day after opposition parties signed an agreement with Yanukovych on a political settlement to form a unity government, call early elections and reform the constitution.
That proposed arrangement was superseded by events, however, when the opposition occupied the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, as police disappeared from the center of Kiev.
Russia has refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government.