Obviously we believe that we have played a constructive role over the years, since the independence of Armenia, in Armenia’s economic development and the development of democracy here, U.S. Charge d’Affairs in Armenia, Mr Joseph Pennington said in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net.
“The U.S. government has allocated more than – or almost – 2 billion USD over the years in assistance to Armenia. And that continues today both in our ordinary bilateral assistance and also in the MCC Program. Of course the MCC program is also affected by political developments and reform,” he said. Asked whether suspension of MCC compact is possible in Armenia, Mr. Pennington said, “The short answer is yes, it is possible that there could be problems with the MCC program and Ambassador Danilovich has made that clear in letters to former President Kocharyan and President Sargsyan. And the reason for that is not because the United States is looking to reduce our support to Armenia or to punish Armenia is some way, but the reason is that the Millennium Challenge Program itself is based on an agreement between the U.S. government and the Armenian government that yes, the assistance will be provided, but also with the reforms in the democratic area. And the events around the election campaign, the election day, the recounts, the post-election situation that lead ultimately to violence and the state emergency – all of those things are things that called into question the current authorities’ commitment to democratic reform. And so what we have said both privately to the government and publicly is that we want to continue the Millennium Challenge program because it will help hundreds of thousands of Armenians out in rural areas, but at the same time we can only do that if the authorities return Armenia to a democratic path and regain momentum on democratic development