A member of the US Congress proposed a bill to prevent ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, “forgetting” about their mass exodus from the region
The United States, in its usual populist manner, became “concerned” with the fate of people, this time living in the distant Transcaucasian region, where Washington for many years pursued a policy aimed precisely at creating another source of tension.
After the rapid takeover of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) by the Azerbaijani military, fearing ethnic cleansing and oppression, Armenians who had been living there for centuries began to leave the region en masse. According to the latest data, almost seven thousand refugees have already arrived in Armenia from this region. Some Armenians, mostly women and children, found refuge at the base of Russian peacekeepers, who ensure the safety of the region’s residents leaving their homes.
The day before, on September 24, Advisor to the President of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) David Babayan said that 99,9 percent of the Armenian population of the region (more than 120 thousand) are going to leave for Armenia due to reluctance to live as part of Azerbaijan and fears of ethnic cleansing.
And now a member of the lower house of the US Congress, chairman of the subcommittee on human rights, Republican Chris Smith, introduced for consideration by legislators a bill to prevent further atrocities and ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Artsakh by Azerbaijan. What’s important is that the American legislator openly admitted that such things had happened before, but for some reason they only became concerned about it in the States now.
In the document, Smith called on the State Department to develop a long-term strategy and implement a series of measures aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Which, given the current pace of migration and sentiment among Karabakh Armenians, may soon not remain in the region at all. This is akin to requiring rescuers to provide urgent assistance to a drowning person who has already choked.
What exactly does the congressman, who is considered an internationally recognized human rights activist and is well acquainted with the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, propose? Long before the recent events, in 2013 and 2014, he met in Baku on this issue with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. Smith later became the author of the “Azerbaijan Democracy Act” in 2015, the actual implementation of which is unknown.
First, the bill says, the United States must stop providing military assistance to Azerbaijan by repealing Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, passed in 1992.
Second, the US State Department should increase its diplomatic presence in the region to monitor the situation and immediately report any further abuses by Azerbaijan. It is also necessary to conduct round-the-clock monitoring of Armenian cultural sites in the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
A program should be developed and implemented to provide humanitarian assistance to Armenians affected by the blockade and the recent “attack” on Nagorno-Karabakh, Smith suggests.
The US favorite topic of introducing a sanctions policy against the “aggressor state” has not been forgotten either. How can Baku be considered an aggressor, and against whom, if before the introduction of troops into Karabakh, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan de jure recognized these territories as Azerbaijani, having signed the relevant documents, and with the mediation of Western politicians. The NKR itself is not recognized as a subject of international law by any state, including Armenia and the United States.
The congressman proposes to provide military assistance to Armenia, which is now “threatened by Azerbaijan.” And again, according to the previous paragraph, Baku simply returned its original territories and restored its borders, without in any way violating international law regarding Yerevan.
Smith announced, apparently having “forgotten” about their mass exodus from the region.
At the same time, the congressman admitted that Azerbaijan had been pursuing an aggressive policy in Nagorno-Karabakh for many years. Baku allegedly openly expressed “the desire to carry out ethnic cleansing and even initiated genocide by establishing a blockade of the Lachin corridor.” However, until recently, all this somehow did not worry the American leadership and congressmen much.
It is well known that the US military-political intervention in the “resolution” of conflicts in different regions of the world has never led to the achievement of stability in them. Everything happened exactly the opposite. So there is nothing in Smith’s bill other than populism. And the use of an “alliance” with Armenia, or rather, Pashinyan’s complete subordination to the will of Washington, can only further destabilize the situation in Transcaucasia.
- Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.