Pallone, 65 Caucus Members Lead Bipartisan Fight for Robust Funding for Armenia and Artsakh

Washington, DC – Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and 65 Members of Congress sent a letter requesting significant economic assistance for the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the Fiscal Year 2025 State and Foreign Relations funding legislation.

The lawmakers requested a minimum of $50 million to bolster Armenia’s security, democratic, economic, energy, and rule of law reforms and $200 million for humanitarian assistance to the people of Artsakh. The letter also includes requests for full prohibition of U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan, an assessment of potential sanctions against Azerbaijani officials who committed human rights abuses, and the immediate release of all Armenian prisoners of war.

“Azerbaijan’s full-scale invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19, 2023, followed a 10-month genocidal campaign of starvation and depravation of essential goods for 120,000 Armenians living in the region. This ethnic cleansing caused over 80 percent of the region’s population to seek refuge in neighboring Armenia, creating a crisis that requires immediate, large-scale international attention. Unfortunately, assistance from the U.S. and other international actors has been wholly insufficient to meet these families’ outstanding needs. Failure to secure their guaranteed right of return to their homeland also remains a black mark on the international diplomatic community,” the lawmakers wrote.

“President Aliyev has proven time and again through his genocidal actions that he is not an honest broker for peace in the region, and the United States must not reward his regime with security assistance of any kind. There is also credible evidence demonstrating the rampant corruption of the Aliyev regime and how it uses these ill-gotten funds for corrupt purposes abroad. The Department of State and other international actors have failed to hold these bad actors accountable, and it is far past time that the U.S. seriously consider imposing sanctions to make them answer for these violations of international law,” the lawmakers concluded.

The Aliyev regime’s destabilizing actions continuously threaten Armenians in the South Caucasus. The blockade of the Lachin Corridor for over 100 days put the lives and livelihoods of over 120,000 people in Artsakh at risk. It is currently exacerbating the humanitarian crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s deadly 2020 invasion of Artsakh that killed 5,000 and forced more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians to leave their homes. Azeri forces continue to harass, detain, and kill individuals in Armenia and Artsakh, while also falsely declaring Armenian territory as their own. Despite these provocations, Armenia continues to take important strides forward in its democratic, economic, judicial, and social reforms.

A copy of a letter sent to the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on April 30 is available HERE.