Pass the Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression Act
Armenians in Azerbaijan are in an impossible situation. Recently, Azerbaijan's military launched a full-on invasion of Artsak (Nagorono-Karabakh). In their brutal assault, the army killed at least 25 people and injured more than a hundred. This includes children. The attack focused on civilian infrastructure.
There are approximately 120,000 Armenian Christians in the area whose community is threatened by the brutal Azerbaijani dictatorship. The military invasion caps off a nine-month-long blockade of the region by Azerbaijan. No humanitarian aid can get through. At least 1,500 people have fled to neighboring Armenia.
The United States must stand up to this aggression and do more. A bipartisan group of Members of Congress have introduced the Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression Act in both the Senate (S.2900) and the House (H.R.5683). This legislation:
- Condemns Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh and calls upon Azerbaijan to lift its blockade, allow the delivery of U.S. and international humanitarian assistance, and release all Armenian POWs, in addition to authorizing multi-year appropriations of direct U.S. humanitarian aid to Artsakh and for energy, science, and military programs in Armenia.
- Authorizes President Biden to enact U.S. sanctions against President Ilham Aliyev and other senior Azerbaijani officials.
- Repeals the waiver authority for section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, banning most assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan
- Provides for a one-time authorization to appropriate money to the United States Agency for International Development to provide humanitarian assistance to groups in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh impacted by the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, Azerbaijan’s September 2022 attack on Armenia, and Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor.
- Provides a one-time authorization to appropriate funds for the Department of State for Foreign Military Financing program assistance for the Republic of Armenia.
- Provides a three-year authorization to appropriate money to carry out activities to support the energy sector of the Republic of Armenia.
- Provides a five-year authorization to appropriate funds for activities promoting U.S.-Armenian cooperation on science and technology.
“America can’t stand idly by as brutal violence perpetrated by the authoritarian regime in Azerbajian raises the specter of genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “This legislation imposes stiff sanctions that will help hold the Azerbajiani government accountable for its clear human rights violations, while authorizing much-needed humanitarian assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh and the people of Armenia.”
“The Azeri government and President Aliyev used first a blockade and then an attack to force their will upon Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). “Armenians suffered the first genocide of the 20th century, which opened the door for many of the horrors in this century. This is the latest episode of the use of force to resolve things which should be done diplomatically.”
For more information about the situation, please visit the Armenian National Committee of America.