I suppose, this initiative should be viewed as part of continuing efforts by EU and US to bring sides of Armenia's stand-off into the dialogue (just look at the names of those who would "testify"). Wednesday meeting of EU's Semneby and US's Bryza with the wives of political prisoners in Armenia some consider as a sign of their soon to be expected release.
(Washington, D.C.) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), will hold a hearing entitled, “Armenia after the Election,” on Thursday, April 17 at 2:00 p.m. in room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Since the February 19 presidential election, Armenia has experienced its most serious political crisis in over a decade. The March 1 confrontation between the authorities and supporters of the opposition resulted in at least eight fatalities and the imposition of a state of emergency, causing serious damage to Armenia’s reputation. Although Prime Minister Serzh Sarkissian has been elected President, some opposition leaders refuse to recognize the outcome and government opposition relations remain tense. The state of emergency has been lifted but restrictions on freedom of assembly continue in effect.
The hearing will focus on the ramifications of these developments for Armenia and the United States, especially the ongoing Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia's qualifications for assistance from the Millennium Challenge Account.
Testifying before the Commission will be:
Mr. Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
Mr. Vigen Sargsian, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. Arman Grigorian, Spokesman for former President Levon Ter-Petrossian
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.