US suspends financial aid to Artsakh and reduces aid to Armenia

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It became known yesterday that the United States intends to reduce the amount of assistance provided to Armenia. According to the spread information, the budget of the upcoming 2020 is supposed to provide our country with financial assistance in the amount of 6.75 million USD.

It is worth recalling the assistance provided to Armenia through “Foreign Assistance” began to decline periodically from 2017, and over the past two years it was a little over 6 million. There have been years when the aid amounted to $ 80 million or more.

The US has provided financial assistance to Armenia immediately after independence since 1992. In recent years it has made nearly $ 2 billion. After the cease-fire of the Artsakh war, the US began to provide assistance to Artsakh as well.

Its assistance was mainly provided through USAID and was used for demining landmines after the war. These works were mainly carried out by the Halo Trust organization, carrying out such activities in a number of conflict zones.

The United States is the only state in the world, after Armenia, to provide assistance to Artsakh. Azerbaijani diplomacy and the lobbying agencies hired by it have struggled for many years to prevent this aid.

It is a pity we can say that for the first time this year no assistance will be provided to Artsakh by the USA, which means the demining activities will be substantially reduced.

However, it would be wrong to attribute this situation to Azerbaijani activity alone. We believe that our diplomacy and lobbying structures have been too passive.

It is also possible that this is a consequence of a number of steps in the so-called post-revolutionary Armenian foreign policy, in particular the provision of military-demining personnel and medical assistance to the Syrian city of Aleppo. The White House may also be expressing its dissatisfaction with Armenia's policy on Iran, which is not in the interests of the United States.

Official Yerevan should intensify its diplomatic efforts in Washington. With the support of lobbying organizations and the Armenian community, it is necessary not only to increase the amount of aid to be provided to Armenia, but also to restore demining activities in Artsakh.

Armenia should intensify diplomatic contacts with the US State Department, explaining that for Armenia,  being in a blockade for decades, relations with Iran are of strategic and security importance, and with the US assistance to Artsakh, the US is strengthening its position in the South Caucasus region.

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