Armenia to receive extra $40 million in financial aid from US
Armenia will receive an additional $40 million in financial aid from the United States for democratic reforms.
An additional $1.5 has been allocated to help Nagorno-Karabakh as well.
The vote in the US Congress
268 congressmen voted for the bill proposing to provide additional assistance to Armenia, which was put forward by American Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
She stated that providing additional funds is an important symbolic step, and it shows that the US values the actions of the Armenian government after the Velvet Revolution of spring 2018.
“Armenia has a rare and potentially fleeting window of opportunity to consolidate and build upon its democratic gains. […] Armenia has earned a clear signal that the United States supports its democratic transformation and resources will be brought to them to carry out that transformation”, Speier said during a meeting of the US House of Representatives.
The head of the House Finance Committee, Republican Hal Rogers, opposed the provision of additional funding to Armenia.
He explained his position by saying that “this could lead to a reduction in the level of funding for important partners in Europe who are faced with Russian aggression.”
Political consultant Vigen Hakobyan says financial aid to Armenia will allow the US to establish a presence in the country.
After all, other areas of cooperation are occupied by other players, in particular, Russia.
Hakobyan says the amount is symbolic – even by Armenian standards, but it fits into the strategy of US relations with Armenia:
“The American establishment understands very well the role and importance of Armenia in the region. And if the Americans cannot play a key role in Armenia in the sphere of defense and security for obvious reasons, then there is another sphere where they feel very confident – with money. Since the presidency of Levon Ter-Petrosyan [ed. the first president of Armenia], Russia has ensured the military and energy security of Armenia, and the United States and the West, in general, acted as financial donors.”
Vigen Hakobyan did not discount the fact that news of the financial aid made its way into the media in order to provide a positive background in the country on the eve of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Negotiations of Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mamedyarov are scheduled for June 20 in Washington.