Foreign Aid request for Armenia $13 million below FY2004 Level

February 2, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC – The Bush Administration’s proposed fiscal year 2005 (FY05) budget, which was released earlier today, would send four times more military assistance to Azerbaijan than Armenia, effectively breaking the military aid parity understanding between the Administration and Congress in 2002, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The budget includes a proposed $62 million allocation in economic aid to Armenia, reflecting a $13 million decrease from the FY 2004 aid bill approved by Congress. This aid figure for Armenia, however, is $12.5 million higher than the Administration’s FY04 request. Assistance levels to Azerbaijan remain at $38 million.

“We are extremely troubled to see the Administration breaking its own agreement to maintain parity in foreign military aid levels to Armenia and Azerbaijan,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “This agreement was reached two years ago between the White House and Congressional leaders, and shared with representatives of the Armenian American community during a February 21, 2002 meeting with National Security Council official Dan Fried and Presidential advisor Karl Rove. Today’s action breaks faith with the Armenian American community and, if approved by Congress, would tilt the regional military balance in favor of Azerbaijan, sending a dangerous signal that the Azerbaijani government’s increasingly violent rhetoric and ongoing obstruction of the peace process will be rewarded with increased military aid from the United States.”

The President’s FY2005 budget reduces overall assistance to the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union by approximately $33 million, bringing the allocation from $583 million to a requested $550 million. The largest assistance increase in the region is proposed for Georgia, which would move from about $72 million to $90 million in aid. The decision comes in an effort to assist the “new government of Georgia to undertake economic and political reforms necessary to ensure that the promise of the November 2003 ‘Revolution of Roses’ is not squandered.” In terms of Foreign Military Financing (FMF), the President’s budget would send $8 million in assistance to Azerbaijan, $12 million in assistance to Georgia and only $2 million to Armenia.

The Foreign Operations Subcommittees of the Senate and House Appropriation Committees will now review the budget and each draft their own versions of the foreign assistance bills.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org
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