U.S. Senate unanimously adopts bill blocking military aid to Azerbaijan


Nov 17, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas



Michigan Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) led the unanimous U.S. Senate passage of the “Armenian Protection Act of 2023” (S.3000) which aims to block all U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan by removing President Biden’s authority to waive Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025, the ANCA reports.

The bill passed on November 15 will be introduced in the House of Representatives. Then, if passed, it will be presented to the United States president for signing to become a law.

In remarks on the Senate Floor during consideration of the measure, Sen. Peters detailed Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh. “Not only did they blockade the Lachin Corridor for 10 months, creating significant hardships, they also violently attacked innocent Armenians and forced the dissolution of the government of Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20th.”

Noting that President Biden failed to stop military aid to Azerbaijan in the face of their escalating aggression, Sen. Peters urged his Senate colleagues to act. “If we do not take action when countries willfully ignore the terms of our agreements with them, our agreements will become effectively meaningless and toothless,” stated Senator Peters. “I urge my colleagues to join me in holding Azerbaijan accountable for their actions, enforce our agreements with them, and stand with the Armenian people in the face of unprovoked aggression.”

Sen. Peters travelled to Armenia’s southern Syunik region in September to assess the devastating impact of Azerbaijan’s 10-month blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh. “This visit confirmed that we must do more to protect Armenian lives and prevent ethnic cleansing. Increased aid to the Armenian people is critical, and we must stop providing aid to Azerbaijan and impose targeted sanctions on the Aliyev regime,” stated Sen. Peters.

Sen. Peters introduced S.Res.3000 upon his return which received bipartisan support from Senators Robert Casey (D-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in the run up to its unanimous passage.

Two measures in the U.S. House – H.R.5683 & H.R.5686 – if passed, would block U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan by calling for the complete repeal of Presidential waiver authority of Section 907.

The measures also urge expanded humanitarian and military assistance to Armenia to address Azerbaijan’s ongoing aggression against Armenia and provide assistance to NK’s forcibly displaced Armenian population.