Ukrainian presidential aide Vladyslav Kaskiv said Wednesday he saw nothing wrong with overseas support for democratic institutions in his country and did not perceive it as foreign interference.

"I do not see anything wrong with democratic countries providing support for democratic principles [in other countries]," the leader of the Pora-PRP election bloc said referring to Western aid to Ukraine.

The aide appeared to be alluding to Russia's new law, which restricted the operation of NGOs in the country. Russian politicians viewed foreign-funded NGOs as having played a major role in the "color revolutions" that swept several former Soviet states in recent years, giving rise to domestic concerns that these organizations were pursuing similar goals in Russia. The West largely saw the law as a Kremlin tactic to tighten control over foreign activity and expressed concerns that it could limit democratic freedoms.

Addressing a RIA Novosty news conference, Kaskiv accused the leaders of some former Soviet countries of making no distinction between support for democracy and foreign interference in domestic affairs.

"We draw a clear line between democratic institutions and interference in domestic affairs. These criteria are outlined in international documents," he said. "Unfortunately, some former Soviet republics and their political elites see no difference and treat their countries as personal property."

Kaskiv said he would do everything possible to involve Ukraine in promoting democracy in, above all, the former Soviet republics.


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