Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests [Updated May 9, 2006] [open pdf - 139KB]
From the Summary: "The United States recognized the independence of all the former Soviet republics by the end of 1991, including the South Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The United States has fostered these states' ties with the West in part to end the dependence of these states on Russia for trade, security, and other relations. The United States has pursued close ties with Armenia to encourage its democratization and because of concerns by Armenian-Americans and others over its fate. Close ties with Georgia have evolved from U.S. contacts with its pro-Western leadership. The Bush Administration supports U.S. private investment in Azerbaijan's energy sector as a means of increasing the diversity of world energy suppliers and to encourage building multiple energy pipelines to world markets. The United States has been active in diplomatic efforts to end conflicts in the region, many of which remain unresolved. The FREEDOM [Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets] Support Act (P.L. [Public Law] 102- 511) provides the major authorization for assistance to the Eurasian states for humanitarian needs, democratization, creation of market economies, trade and investment, and other purposes. Section 907 of the act prohibits most U.S. government-to-government aid to Azerbaijan until its ceases blockades and other offensive use of force against Armenia. This provision has been partly altered over the years to permit humanitarian aid and democratization aid, border security and customs support to promote non-proliferation, Trade and Development Agency aid, Overseas Private Investment Corporation insurance, Eximbank financing, and Foreign Commercial Service activities."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB95024