A Russian military spokesman told the Interfax news agency on Saturday that Russian fighter jets are carrying out an increasing number of training flights over Armenia.
As reported in the New York Times, Colonel Igor Gorbul said that Russian jets stationed in Armenia have conducted about 300 training flights since the beginning of the year and have boosted the number of flying hours by more than 20% over 2011.
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 said it regarded the border clashes as “unacceptable” and would continue to try to broker a peaceful settlement.
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