The United States of America has assured it will not withhold cash meant for the second compact of the millennium challenge account if Ghana goes ahead to secure a $300 million loan facility, from Russian bank, VTB Bank, to secure arms for Ghana’s security personnel who are on peace keeping duties in Mali and Sudan.
VTB Bank is one of three state owned Russian banks that the US and the EU have cut ties with as part of sanctions against Russia for their involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
The move means that VTB Bank will not in the interim be able to fulfill its part of the deal by releasing the money to Ghana.
Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juabeng South Dr. Asibey Yeboah earlier said he feared Ghana’s involvement with Russia will have both political and financial risks.
He said ‘President John Mahama is in the US to sign an agreement between Ghana and the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for the release of 498 million dollars of the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Corporation if the US discovers Ghana’s involvement with a state-owned bank in Russia on which there are sanctions, there could be implications for us [Ghana].”
He stated that the $498 million will be released in tranches “so in the coming months, if the US sees that we are going ahead with such an agreement, will they hold on to some of these monies?”
But the Economic counsel at the American Embassy in Ghana told Citi FM’s Vivian Kai Mensah that the loan agreement with VTB Bank will not affect disbursement of the cash for the second compact to Ghana.
‘I don’t think it will be of concern to the second compact’
He adds that it will also not affect other facilities from the US to Ghana.
‘I don’t believe it will affect any funds to Ghana’.