September 30, 2011 - 09:15 AMT
Armina Darbinian: U.S. financial aid to RA proves efficient activity of Armenian lobby

The U.S. financial aid to Armenia is the evidence of the efficient activity of the Armenian lobby, said Armenian Assembly of America country director for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh

“The Assembly spared no effort to maintain the amount of financial assistance to Armenia and Artsakh, what is of significant importance for both countries,” Armina Darbinian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

“It’s a great achievement, given the major budget cuts in U.S. foreign aid,” she said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved in September its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which outlined U.S. funding and policy priorities abroad, including Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

Overall, the Bill provides $626.7 million in assistance for the countries of Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA), which is $69 million below the FY 2011 level. While the Bill does not contain any "congressionally-directed spending items or 'earmarks,'" the report language recommends funding for Armenia "consistent with the budget request." The Administration requested $40 million in economic assistance to Armenia for FY 2012. The Senate Committee vote mirrors the action in the House State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, which called for $40 million in economic support to Armenia.