“Stop the lies.”
Earlier today, Politico reporter Gabriel Gavin asked Samantha Power - the head of U.S. International Development - if she would say Azerbaijan is committing ethnic cleansing, especially after writing her Pulitzer Prize-winning book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.”
Power dodged to question, saying the international community needs access into Nagorno-Karabakh, which is blocked by traffic of refugees coming out of the formerly Azeri-blocked Lachin Corridor.
While continuing her answer, Power was cut off by a man standing by. He dismissed her remarks, declaring, “Sanction Azerbaijan or go back to your country. We don’t care. Stop your lies.”
At the same press conference, Samantha Power announced the United States will provide $11.5 million USD in humanitarian aid to Armenian civilians from Nagorno-Karabakh, the region known to Armenians as Artsakh.
Power vaguely elaborated on the access to the aid, saying to assistance will be "used to provide everything from food to psychosocial support given, again, the grave psychological wounds that so many citizens are caring."
Additionally, Samantha Power, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, avoided committing a direct action plan from the United States on how they would protect American sovereignty, saying, “a range of options are under consideration”.
"Armenian sovereignty" was a common catchphrase used by the American diplomats during their visit.
On Monday, Power, accompanied by U.S.’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Yuri Kim, met with Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to communicate American President Joe Biden’s message from his letter, where Biden stated they will show a “strong support (from) the United States and my Administration for Armenia’s pursuit of a dignified and durable regional peace that maintains your sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and democracy.”
Tuesday was the first time Samantha Power was face-to-face with press during her visit to Armenia, answering questions from both Armenian domestic journalists and international publications.
Watch the press conference below. The question from Gavin to Power that leads to the confrontation is at 6:35.
Journalists Fin DePencier and Katia Galati reported and produced the videos for this story.