Russia terminates USAID activities amid Kremlin crackdown on foreign groups

The Kremlin is ending the U.S. Agency for International Development's activities in Russia, the State Department announced Tuesday.

The decision follows longtime criticism by President Vladimir Putin of U.S. efforts to foster democracy and human rights in Russia. 

Putin blamed Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE for inciting protests against flawed parliamentary elections last December. 

This summer he signed into law legislation requiring foreign-funded nonprofit organizations engaged in election monitoring and other political activities to register as “foreign agents.”

“The United States recently received the Russian Government’s decision to end USAID activities in the Russian Federation,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. 'We are extremely proud of what USAID has accomplished in Russia over the past two decades, and we will work with our partners and staff to responsibly end or transition USAID’s programs.

“While USAID’s physical presence in Russia will come to an end, we remain committed to supporting democracy, human rights, and the development of a more robust civil society in Russia and look forward to continuing our cooperation with Russian non-governmental organizations.”