On behalf of a group of Armenian experts, Areg Kochinyan, Security Policy Expert, presented the following recommendations to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives and the delegation led by her, ատ a meeting with civil society representatives on 14 September 2022, during their visit to Yerevan, which we present below:
On September 13, Azerbaijan initiated a major military offensive targeting the eastern and south-eastern regions of Armenia using a wide range of weaponry, including heavy artillery and combat UAVs. As a result, Azerbaijan has intruded and then occupied over 10 sq km of the sovereign territories of Armenia. This attack follows the offensives in May and November 2021, when Azerbaijan occupied around 45 sq km of sovereign land of our country. Moreover, there are credible reports that Azerbaijan is planning yet another military offensive by widening the geography of the aggression to realize its unlawful ambitions towards establishing an extraterritorial corridor through the sovereign territory of Armenia. Therefore, it is evident that encouraged by the results of the use of force in the past, without any repercussions (either directed to the authoritarian regime or the country as a whole), Azerbaijan seeks to normalize violence and aggression to seize the sovereign territories of Armenia by force. Besides, Azerbaijan continues pursuing its policy to deprive the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) of the right to live and be secure in their homeland and master their destiny.
The devastating consequences of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, unlashed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh, have drastically changed the security environment of the South Caucasus region. The autocratic regimes have been deepening their positions in the region, and Armenia, as a democracy, needs the targeted support of the United States of America. Thus, we are kindly asking you to consider realization of the following actions:
To initiate a bipartisan Armenia Support Act in the Congress of the United States as a law. This Act may reiterate the US commitment to Armenia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy, economic development as well as security, based on shared values. The Armenia Support Act may hence substantively fill the US-Armenia strategic dialogue and set a stage for Armenia-US strategic partnership.
To provide Armenia a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status for the United States. MNNA may significantly strengthen Armenia's security capabilities to defend the democracy in a such turbulent region, amongst the grave security challenges, thereby contributing to the enhancement of the Armenia-US relations to the level of strategic partnership.
In case of renewed aggression by the Alieve regime: place sanctions on the people in Azerbaijan who are responsible for or engaged in actions that undermine democratic processes in Armenia, threaten Armenia’s peace and/or territorial integrity, or commission of serious human rights abuses. Reassess the gas or oil supply arrangements by Azerbaijan to US allies.
Eduard Abrahamyan - Security Policy Expert, London
Areg Kochinyan – Security Policy Expert, Yerevan
Armine Margaryan - Military-political expert, Yerevan
Artur Sakunts – Human rights defender,Vanadzor
Albert Nerzetyan - Security Policy Expert, Yerevan