U.S. Embassy trains Armenian financial sector to combat WMD proliferation

On November 2 and 3, the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan hosted a two-day workshop that brought together Armenian government officials, representatives of Armenian banks, and U.S. government experts in order to raise awareness of financial sector controls that can help prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The workshop gave 39 representatives from Armenian banking institutions the opportunity to discuss shared challenges with representatives from the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury and Justice, as well as from the FBI. Participants learned new ways to ensure sanctioned countries do not bypass international sanctions by using financial loopholes. They focused on areas such as strengthening institutional capacities, developing interagency mechanisms, and coordinating law enforcement efforts to combat proliferation financing.

The participants learned the important role that awareness plays in preventing financing of weapons proliferation. “This workshop allowed qualified and knowledgeable officials to enhance their ability to prevent and detect illicit financial activities, an area in which national authorities play a key role,” said Jason Ray, FBI Assistant Legal Attaché.

The workshop was organized by the U.S. Embassy’s Export Control and Related Border Security Program (EXBS), which helps to harmonize national export control systems with international standards. Administered by the U.S. Department of State, EXBS operates in more than 65 countries, and is designed to strengthen a country’s export control system by providing legal and regulatory advice, training of licensing officials, enforcement and interdiction equipment, and industry to government outreach. Better export control systems help to fight against the proliferation of mass destruction, their delivery systems, conventional weapons, and related materials.

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