Endemic government corruption hinders Armenia’s cooperation with the United States in the fight against international terrorism, the U.S. State Department said late Thursday in an annual report submitted to Congress.
The report scrutinizing counter-terrorism measures taken around the world last year praises the Armenian authorities for granting over-flight and landing rights to U.S. military aircraft, sending troops to Iraq and improving its “capacity to monitor illicit financial flows and confront trafficking in hazardous substances.”
“Widespread corruption, however, continued to hamper full implementation and enforcement of laws that would improve Armenia’s counterterrorism posture and response capability,” reads the report.
The State Department did not specify which Armenian laws were not fully enforced because of corruption. Nor did it say whether any international militant group hostile to Washington has attempted to use Armenian territory for its operations.
The report notes instead “measured progress” in the strengthening of Armenia’s border security and its government’s fight against cross-border trafficking in weapons of mass destruction. It also points to a 2008 revision of an Armenian law on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
“The revision significantly expanded the range of reporting entities required to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Monitoring Center (FMC), a specialized intelligence unit within the Central Bank that is responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing,” adds the report. “In 2009, as a result of the work of the FMC, Armenia recorded its first successful money laundering prosecution.”
The State Department defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence directed against noncombatants.”