It’s not too late for Joe Biden to stop Azerbaijan’s genocide against Artsakh

As the global champion for human rights and peaceful conflict resolution, the United States has a direct stake in Artsakh’s security and survival.

All the more so because decades of weak and misguided U.S. policies – including endless attempts to appease Azerbaijan – contributed directly to the existential crisis currently facing Artsakh. While vast harm has been done, much of it irreparable, resolute and principled U.S. actions can still salvage this situation, avoiding worst-case scenarios for Artsakh.

In charting a sustainable path toward peace and security, U.S. leaders must reject the counsel of those – both foreign and domestic – who would have us abandon our commitments to international law and humanitarian values. We must act upon our principles not forsake them.

At this critical moment, failing to protect the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh from the hardships of blockade and imminent threat of ethnic cleansing can never be – must never be – a morally or legally acceptable option for the United States.

It is not too late for the Biden-Harris administration – utilizing the full measure of our nation’s leverage with both Azerbaijan and Turkey – to meet America’s obligations to prevent an Azerbaijani genocide against Artsakh:

1) The U.S. should set a hard deadline for Baku to lift its blockade and cease all acts of aggression against #Artsakh and #Armenia.

2) The U.S. should impose Global Magnitsky and other sanctions on senior Azerbaijani officials for failing to meet this deadline, fully enforce Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, and block all direct and third-party sales or transfers of U.S. weapons or defense articles to Azerbaijan.

3) The U.S. should immediately undertake concrete actions to prevent genocide in Artsakh by leading international efforts for the recognition of Artsakh’s status as self-governing, requiring 1) United Nations security guarantees; 2) a sustained international peacekeeping presence; 3) robust U.S. and international humanitarian and developmental assistance, 4) secure transportation, commerce and energy links to Armenia, 5) a strategic buffer zone and 6) food, water and energy security.

The U.S. has recognized and applied the principle of self-determination based on remedial secession on numerous occasions, e.g., Kosovo, East Timor, South Sudan. There is no principled basis for denying the Armenians of Artsakh this same right, as they strive, against extreme violence and existential threats, to live in peace and dignity.

Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).


  1. The International Order works very imperfectively, is applied unevenly and is full of hypocrisy. It has not worked for Armenians who were killed and pushed out of their Armenian Highlands(Eastern Turkey) in 1915, Palestinians living under Israeli occupation on their own land since 1967, persecuted Uyghurs Muslims in China, Georgians whose half their country is occupied by Russian proxies, or oppressed Kurds living in Turkey and Northern Iraq. The list goes on. In a couple of cases, Kosovo, East Timor, Bangladesh,South Sudan, the stars did line up and the western international community did support arguments of ‘self determination” over “national sovereignty”. In the case of Karabakh Armenians it seems that both Russia and US agree that national sovereignty of Azerbaijan trumps over self determination of Armenians. Initially, the Russians preferred an ambiguous status to be decided in the future, but when Pashinyan’s government showed their Western leanings, the Russian sided with Azerbaijan to punish Armenia. The US has always favored Azerbaijan for their own geopolitical goals, not withstanding the corrupt and undemocratic nature of the Baku regime. On the other hand, some of these conflicts are ultimately decided by force which is also contrary to the principles of the international order. Therein lies the hypocrisy. Finally, Armenians had 25 years to try to resolve this conflict in their favor, and some argue, lost important opportunities. In this dangerous neighborhood, one must always sleep with one eye open

  2. His entire life, Nikol dreamed of abandoning Artsakh, forgetting the Armenian Genocide, unconditionally opening Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey and, last but not least, bringing Armenia out of Russia’s orbit. Naturally, these unique characteristics exhibited by Nikol did not escape the attention of various intelligence services around the world. This essentially is how and why Western and Turkish interests helped place Nikol into power in 2018. This is not a speculation. This can actually be proving in court. Follow the money trail that paved the way to Nikol’s “New Armenia” (e.g. Soros’ Open Society, NED, USAID, British Council, European Council, large numbers of western financed NGOs, large numbers of western financed news outlets, money transfers from Baku to Armenia just prior to the “velvet revolution”, etc) and you will end up in Washington, London, Brussels, Ankara, Baku and perhaps Tel Aviv. To it’s utter shame and disgrace, the Armenian world, both native and diasporan, preferred to keep Nikol in power not once but twice, the second time being after the embarrassing defeat Armenia suffered in 2020.

    Having much bigger matters to tend to in Ukraine, 2018 was also when Russia, which had been Armenia’s only lifeline since 1992, began pulling its protective hand away from both Armenia and Artsakh, but did so only slightly so that the two wouldn’t disappear completely from the map.

    In other words, seeing that the Armenian world was desperately seeking to embrace Western powers to off-set Russia’s perceived over-influence in Armenia, protecting Armenian interests in Artsakh, as Moscow had done since 1992 at the expense of alienating Turks and Azeris, no longer served Russia’s strategic interests. With a major world crisis approaching, instead of moving closer to the Russian Federation if only for security reasons, which would be a logical/natural move as Armenia was and continues to be almost entirely dependent on Russia for survival, by 2018 the Armenian world had effectively maneuvered Armenia into geopolitical isolation and a dead end. Just like how Moscow punished Baku in 1992, Tbilisi in 2008 and Kiev from 2014-present, Moscow also punished Yerevan in 2020. But, unlike what the Kremlin will do to Ukraine (i.e. Ukraine will cease to exist when this war is over), the Kremlin will make sure that an Armenia and an Artsakh survive in some form, as Russians still need Armenians in the south Caucasus as a geostrategic buffer against Turks and Muslims.

    In a nutshell, what I just described is how Armenians lost Artsakh. This is why Armenia today is like a rudderless boat on a stormy sea. All in all, the last 5 years in Armenia was a nightmare, and a toxic by-product of western-style democracy and the self-destructive efforts of Armenians worldwide to use the West as a leverage against Russia. Consequently, Armenians have no right to complain today, as they were again the main authors of the country’s latest tragedy.

  3. Don’t expect any help from this corrupt senile old man!A few million dollars in bribe to his corrupt family may wake him up long enough to mumble some incoherent gibberish about Armenia. We will all then start singing his praises and give a huge credit to ANC!

  4. How about establishing good relations with your immediate neighbors instead of expecting a miracle from 8 time zones away or looking security in the embrace of a bear?

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