PanARMENIAN.Net - Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) teamed up to introduce Anti-Blockade legislation on Thursday, June 8, backed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), and supported by a wide array of American civil society coalition partners, increasing U.S. pressure on Azerbaijan to end its nearly six-month long blockade of 120,000 Christian Armenians in their indigenous Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) homeland, the Armenian National Committee of America reports.
The measure is similar to H.Res.108, a bipartisan resolution spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and the Armenian Caucus leadership, which currently has 88 cosponsors.
The Senate introduction – which is supported by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is an original cosponsor of the measure – is timed with the next round of U.S.-mediated Azerbaijan-Armenia peace talks, scheduled as early as next week in Washington DC. The measure specifically calls for U.S. sanctions against Azerbaijani officials responsible for the Artsakh blockade and ongoing anti-Armenian human rights violations and urges the Biden Administration to stop all military aid to Azerbaijan by fully enforcing Section 907 sanctions.
“Armenian and allied Americans thank Senators Padilla, Rubio, and Menendez for enforcing concrete costs and real-world consequences on Azerbaijan over its six-month long blockade of Artsakh – starting with the immediate cut-off of all U.S. military aid to Baku,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “American tax payers should not be asked to subsidize the armed forces of an authoritarian regime that neither needs nor deserves U.S. support.”
Armenians and allied Americans can voice support for the Padilla-Rubio Anti-Blockade measure by visiting http://anca.org/resolution .
“Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor—the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to Armenia—is inhumane and unacceptable,” said Senator Padilla, upon introduction of the measure. “This blockade has created a humanitarian crisis, rendering the 120,000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh without access to food, medicine, and other basic necessities. Our resolution would make it clear that the United States must take action to hold Azerbaijan accountable.”
Rep. Pallone welcomed the Senate introduction of the measure, stating, “I stand with my colleagues today in condemning Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of Artsakh. It’s clear that Azerbaijan’s blockage of the Lachin Corridor is coordinated and intended to shut off the only supply route for m...