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What for America pays Karabakh?2012-01-12 17:28
The U.S. Congress approved the bill of annual aid for the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. In 2012, it will amount to $ 2 million for the development of humanitarian programs. Of course, Azerbaijan is not happy because the Americans did not consult with Baku. Armenians are also dissatisfied. They think that this time Washington "has tricked" Stepanakert.
Congressmen started the work on the budget in February 2011. It was carried out on a reduced scenario, as requested by the White House. As a result, the mandatory annual financial assistance to the countries of the South Caucasus has been considerably reduced.
Parity was maintained for aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan. As part of the foreign military financing (FMF), Baku and Yerevan received $ 3 million. The volume of aid to Armenia implied $ 40 million, but the Congress decided to focus on military funding. As a result, the final amounts were approved only for the military items of South Caucasian expenditures.
There is one interesting detail. Program for International Military Education and Training (IMET), under which Armenia and Azerbaijan are training their professionals, put these countries at a disadvantage. Azerbaijani armed forces got $ 900 thousand. Armenian - twice less. Against the backdrop of overall cut of "Armenian" items of the U.S. budget and current difficult situation of Armenia itself, the Congress looks disadvantageously in Yerevan's eyes. But they had to acquiesce to the amount allocated by Washington.
In America, the Armenian ethnic lobbies are upholding the interests of Armenia. It is called one of the most effective lobbies in the U.S. Its priority is Nagorno-Karabakh. American Armenians have been trying to influence on this region since 1918. That time, in the United States there was formed the American Committee of independent Armenia (ACIA). In those years, it influenced on the South Caucasus through the Armenian Revolutionary Federation which took power in independent Armenia. They tried to test this option again in the early '90s. When Dashnaks were defeated in the parliamentary elections in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh became a stronghold of their party.
There is information that during the Karabakh conflict American Armenians supplied the NKR with arms and money. That time, tens of millions of dollars were sent to Yerevan from America. Armenian lobbyists have fought on the field of information warfare no less zealously. Thanks to them, Azerbaijan has got an image of the "aggressor country" in the foreign media. Azeris, who tried to convey to the world their point of view, failed to be heard.
Over the years the situation has changed. Marina Anakinyan, analyst of the Panarmenian, acknowledged that in 2011 the Azerbaijani and Turkish lobbyists were stronger than their Armenian rivals. Cash assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh has been cut to minuscule amounts of $ 2 million, and the aid for the retraining of the Azerbaijani military twice exceeded the same help to the Armenian army. Against this background, Turkey and Azerbaijan are holding the blockade of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan considers the Karabakh its territory, illegally occupied by the neighboring state. At the same time, Baku realizes that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the most painful problems of the South Caucasus. If the two opposing countries start active the struggle for this territory, the entire Caucasus would explode. Both sides would remind each other Sumgait and Khojaly.