US Congress | Cessation of military aid to Azerbaijan and Turkey’s role
Defence Redefined
Published on 14/08/2021 at 18:15

On July 28, the US Congress approved an amendment by Republican MP Frank Pallone on financial support to Armenia and cessation of Azerbaijan’s security aid. 

In particular, a $ 50 billion fund has been approved to provide aid to Armenia on political and economic development and humanitarian issues in Artsakh. It also interrupts aid to Azerbaijan through the International Military Education and Foreign Military Finance programs. In his statement, MP Pallone blamed the recent 44-day war in Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The US policy of disengagement from the tense regions of the Caucasus and especially the Middle East, which began with the Obama administration and continued with the Trump administration, led the US to play a passive and neutral role in the recent war in Artsakh. 

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At the decision-making level, pressure exerted on the part of the Armenian lobby as well as Israel’s indirect support for Azerbaijan have made neutrality the best choice for US foreign policy. Although President Biden approved military aid to Azerbaijan in May, the adoption of the Pallone Amendment – along with the recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide – demonstrates the legislature’s willingness to further engage in foreign policy matters, as it is responsible for the approval of development and military aid. It is worth noting that MP Pallone also has very good relations with the Israeli lobby in the US, so this policy does not affect Israel’s interests in the region.

In conclusion, the US retains its role in the region. The cessation of military aid to Azerbaijan falls within the framework of the US disengagement from the active support of the two sides in matters of security and the mitigation of their involvement in the provision of political and financial aid. Political support in Armenia seems to prevail, but it has not turned into military support so far. 

In the Caucasus region, US-Turkish relations focus mainly on energy due to the supply of Caspian oil to the West, but after the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war, Turkey’s role in regional security has increased. 

Given the above, it could be said that the policy of the Turkey-Azerbaijan alliance is not welcomed by a strong part of the US Congress, which will affect, among other things, the US decision to upgrade Turkey’s role in the Caucasus and Middle East.

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