WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that it would shut down the USAID mission in Russia following a Moscow decision.
In a written statement, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the announcement was made after Moscow recently informed Washington of its decision to end the activities of USAID, the primary U.S. government aid agency, in Russia.
Noting that Washington was proud of what USAID has done in Russia over the past two decades, Nuland vowed to "responsibly end or transition USAID's programs" there.
She said the United States wanted to continue its cooperation with Russia's non-governmental organizations despite the fact that "USAID's physical presence in Russia will come to an end."
During a regular briefing on Tuesday, Nuland told reporters that the USAID has spent about 2.7 billion U.S. dollars in total in Russia since the end of Soviet Union and the agency's budget for Russia in fiscal year 2012 is about 50 million dollars.
When asked if she was disappointed by Russia's decision, Nuland said: "Obviously, this is a sovereign decision that any country makes."
"So it is our hope that Russia will now itself assume full responsibility and take forward all of this work that we were proud to do together so that the Russian people continue to have the benefit," she added.