By Ani Hovannisian Kevorkian “Go to hell,” was my gut, unuttered reaction...
US House Appropriations Committee Calls for at Least $5 Million in Assistance to Nagorno Karabakh $40 Million in Aid to Armenia
WASHINGTON, DC — The US House Appropriations Committee released the details of its draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which calls for “at least” $5 million in assistance to Nagorno Karabakh and includes “not less than” $40 million in assistance to Armenia.
Overall funding in the Appropriations Bill was reduced by 5 percent when compared to last year. In addition, bilateral assistance was cut by $1.1 billion, and is $3 billion below the President’s request for FY 2013. However, despite these reductions and the continued downward trend, funding for Armenia was specifically highlighted, and remains consistent with the FY 2012 enacted level of $40 million.
In addition to the $40 million, parity in military assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan was also maintained in the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) accounts and reflects the Administration’s request of $2.7 million in FMF and $600,000 in IMET funding to each country.
When compared to the Administration’s budget request, which reduced funding by 18 percent across-the-board in Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia countries, the Committee’s draft Bill is a welcomed development. The Administration’s request for Armenia, including military assistance (FMF and IMET), totaled $35.843 million.
The Appropriations Bill also restated the six customary exemptions for humanitarian and other assistance to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. Section 907 was enacted in 1992 and requires the Government of Azerbaijan to take “demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force” against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
Upon passage by the House Appropriations Committee, the Bill must next clear the full House of Representatives and then be reconciled with its counterpart in the Senate.