Was Airport in Stepanakert Built For Russian Armed Forces?

  • Country - 19 January 2013, 12:09
The international observers cautiously advise the Armenian side to refrain from tensions and not to launch flights from Stepanakert. The prime minister of NKR says flights will be resumed soon. The Armenian defense minister says the Armenian air force will guarantee security of flights between Yerevan and Stepanakert. The Azerbaijani mass media report the Azerbaijani air force flies above the regions of Aghdam and Tartar located at the front line.

The operation of the airport of Stepanakert is a purely civilian activity and it is an anti-human step to hinder this activity. Obviously, however, the powers which would like to deploy troops in the conflict area are trying to benefit from the possible provocation.

First of all, it is Russia which is likely to involve Karabakh within the scope of the Armenian-Russian military cooperation. Apparently, the new agreement of military cooperation between Russia and Armenia supposes this.

During the meeting with reporters on January 18 the minister of defense Seiran Ohanyan said a new phase of Armenian-Russian military and technical cooperation will start. He noted that the issue is the distribution of the arsenal of the Russian military base all over Armenia instead of its current concentration Gyumri.

The ruling party in Azerbaijan is hopeful that the Russian-Armenian cooperation is not aimed against Azerbaijan. The party’s executive secretary Ali Mahmedov said, “With his latest orders Vladimir Putin wishes to put the Russian-Armenian strategic military cooperation on the agenda in the geopolitical context.” He noted that the citizens of Azerbaijan worry that Russia will link the military cooperation with Armenia with the role of peacemaker in Karabakh, Rosbalt Agency informs.

At the same time, the head of the Russian Center of Strategic and Technical Analysis Ruslan Pukhov told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta it was strange that Armenia was our ally but we supplied weapon to Armenia. We hope this mistake will be corrected by means of this agreement, he said. Pukhov said Azerbaijan does not always observe friendly relations with Russia.

Azerbaijan has refused to continue the lease of Gabbala on reasonable conditions, and Russia has to look for alternatives.  

Seiran Ohanyan does not mind location of a Russian military base in Armenia. “We have followed the whole process and seen that failure to reach an agreement in negotiations the use of Gabbala was suspended,” the minister said. “If our approval or refusal is concerned, we are not against allocation of the radio station here,” Ohanyan said.

Russia needs an opportunity to deploy troops in Karabakh, and the first flight Stepanakert-Yerevan could be one.