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U.S. Increases Assistance Funding To Armenia

U.S. Marines participate in an Independence Day reception at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan in July 2014.

YEREVAN -- The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan says President Donald Trump’s administration has increased assistance funding to Armenia to more than $60 million in 2019, adding that the amount represents a 40-percent increase over last year’s amount.

These funds include support to “bolster Armenian democratic development” in areas including anti-corruption, security, energy, education, human rights and “the strengthening of transparent and accountable government institutions,” the embassy said in a statement on November 4.

Armenia has long had close ties with Russia but questions about those relations have increased since Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian came to power last year after peaceful protests ousted from power Serzh Sarkisian, seen as close to Moscow.

“The United States has sought to support the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia for the last 27 years, and we certainly do not intend to change that now, at a time when democracy in Armenia is stronger than ever,” U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy said.

Overall, Washington has provided more than $2 billion in assistance funding to Armenia since 1992, according to the U.S. Embassy.

Following talks with then-White House national-security adviser John Bolton in Yerevan in October 2018, Pashinian said there was “a real opportunity to bring Armenia-U.S. relations to a new level. And we are ready to take advantage of this opportunity."