Azerbaijan, Baku, March 8 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /
The extent to which Russia will support flight operations from Khojaly airport will surely be discussed at a meeting between the Presidents of Russia and Armenia, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, Azerbaijani political analyst Farhad Mehdiyev said.
"Armenia is in a need of support for opening Khojaly airport which is registered by the ICAA as an Azerbaijani airport. Azerbaijan has repeatedly officially warned of the inadmissibility of violating its air border, as well as the likelihood of taking preventive measures by Baku," Mehdiyev told Trend.
The expert said that Armenia is aware that Baku has advantages in terms of its air force, as well as aerial defence and therefore is in a need of support from Moscow.
The only country capable of guaranteeing the safety of flight operations by Armenia from Khojaly airport is Russia. Without its support, Yerevan will not dare to start any operation of the airport, he said.
Today, according to Mehdiyev, one cannot say for sure whether Russia would give such a guarantee, as it is quite a sensitive issue, given that Yerevan is violating the Chicago Convention.
"Although Yerevan says it is not related to the work of the airport that will operate flights on aircrafts owned by the so-called NKR, however it will be Armenian aircrafts flying from there and it is clear that the country will initiate the commissioning of the airport," Mehdiyev said.
Although Russia at this point cannot openly support Armenia's flagrant violation of international law, it can support operation of flights from Khojaly airport, Mehdiyev said.
"To some extent Russia is interested in an escalation of tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as it will increase its regional role," the expert said.
Earlier, Armenian media reported on the intended commissioning of the airport in Khojaly in the near future.
The commissioning of the airport is an open violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (adopted on December 7, 1944 in Chicago), the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported earlier.
Azerbaijan will strengthen the legal use of the application of the Chicago convention. The country banned the use of its airspace over Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia, as no one can guarantee safe flights in the area, the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration said earlier.
According to Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration, Armenia's steps towards the operation of the airport are attempts to violate international aviation law. This air space belongs to Azerbaijan, so its use by Armenia is illegal.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ICAC) also support the position of Azerbaijan on this issue.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group namely Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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