WASHINGTON, DC — Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which outlined U.S. funding and policy priorities abroad, including Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
Overall, the Bill provides $626.7 million in assistance for the countries of Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA), which is $69 million below the FY 2011 level. While the Bill does not contain any “congressionally-directed spending items or ‘earmarks,’” the report language recommends funding for Armenia “consistent with the budget request.” The Administration requested $40 million in economic assistance to Armenia for FY 2012. The Senate Committee vote mirrors the action in the House State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, which called for $40 million in economic support to Armenia.
The Senate Bill also states “That funds made available for the Southern Caucasus region may be used for confidence-building measures and other activities in furtherance of the peaceful resolution of conflicts, including in Nagorno-Karabakh,” while the report language states that “The committee supports humanitarian assistance for victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and urges a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”
The next step would be for the House and Senate to complete action on their respective bills. However, with the new fiscal year beginning on October 1st, Congress must pass a short-term continuing resolution before turning its attention back to the FY 2012 appropriations bills.

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