US offers new aid to ex-Soviet European nations

7 June 2014
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk during a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, June 7, 2014. Biden is here to attend the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko as the President of Ukraine on Saturday. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The United States is offering new financial assistance to Moldova (mawl-DOH'-vah) and Georgia, two former Soviet nations the West seeks to lure toward Europe.

Vice President Joe Biden announced the aid in Kiev during meetings with both nations' presidents on the sidelines of the new Ukrainian president's inauguration.

Both Moldova and Georgia are pursuing association agreements with the European Union amid a regional crisis over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

The White House says an additional $8 million will help Moldova "advance its European aspirations." The U.S. is also sending $5 million to Georgia to help economically vulnerable people living near Russian-controlled breakaway regions.

The aid follows President Barack Obama's announcement that the U.S. will work to boost the military capacity of non-NATO countries near Russia, including Moldova and Georgia.