Russia shows more presence with training flights over Armenia, after deadly clashes occurred between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute last week.
Baku / NationalTurk – Deadly clashes occurred between Azerbaijan and Armenia last week only a few days later Russian fighter planes conduct training flights over Armenian territory in an increasing number to intimidate.
A Russian military spokesman, Col. Igor Gorbul stated that Russian fighter jets stationed at a base in Armenia have conducted about 300 training flights since the beginning of 2012, and have increased the number of flying hours by more than 20 % from 2011.
Violence has flared recently along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have been at war over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-controlled enclave inside Azerbaijan, for more than 20 years. At least eight soldiers, five Azerbaijanis and three Armenians, were killed in clashes along the border last week.
Armenia and Azerbaijan : Nagorno Karabakh dispute that never ends
This is seen as sending a clear warning that Russia could intervene at any moment should violence escalate further in the territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the NYT article states.
Col. Gorbul said Russian fighter pilots were preparing for combat. ‘The main emphasis in performing aerobatic elements is made on the ability to apply them in real-life air combat conditions,’ he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry last week stated it regarded the border clashes between Armenia and Azarbaijan as ‘ unacceptable ‘ and would maintain all efforts to try to broker a peaceful settlement between two eternal enemies. Russia, along with France, the United States and other countries, has repeatedly urged a peaceful settlement to the Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia maintains a military base in Armenia and regularly sells weapons to Armenia. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former states of USSR.
Russian interest over Armenia and Azerbaijan Karabakh conflict followed by swift Us warning
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week warned of possible disastrous consequences after deadly violence between Azarbaijan and Armenia ignited over Karabakh.
Azerbaijan, which currently holds a seat on the United Nations Security Council, issued a statement. Azerbaijan was also appealing to the United Nations for help in hopes that international mediators could help reach a settlement over Nagorno Karabakh Conflict until the end of 2012.