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US House Appropriations Committee recommends $50 million for Armenia, $2,000,000 for demining activities in Artsakh

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

US House Appropriations Committee released its reports for Fiscal Year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs and Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bills, Armenian Assembly of America reports.

It recommends not less than $50 million “for Armenia for economic development, private sector productivity, energy independence, democracy and the rule of law, and other purposes.” In addition, the report language also calls for “not less than $2,000,000 for demining activities in Artsakh.”

With the Subcommittee having considered the draft Bill on Monday, June 25, 2021, the full committee is poised to “mark-up” the legislation tomorrow, July 1, 2021.

The Bill also restates Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, in addition to prohibiting the sale of defense articles to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate. The report language also reiterates the Assembly’s concerns about the military disparity in U.S. assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan: “The Committee is concerned by disparity in military assistance provided to Azerbaijan in comparison to Armenia that is enabled by the annual waiver of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act by the Secretary of State, including the most recent waiver signed by the Secretary on April 23, 2021. The Committee directs the military balance between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the diplomatic consequences of such disparity in military assistance be considered by the Secretary in any decision with respect to the renewal of the Section 907 waiver during fiscal year 2022.” In 1992, Congress took a principled stand against Azerbaijani aggression with the adoption of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, which states that U.S. funds “may not be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.”

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