US Warns Against Attacks on Civilian Aircraft

Stepanakert Airport

YEREVAN, WASHINGTON—The United States Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern on Monday said there can be no attacks against civilian planes, the threat constantly voiced by Azerbaijan in regard to Karabakh’s plans to open a civilian airport near Stepanakert.

“As a representative of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair [nation], I have to stay behind the statements of the co-chairs on all aspects of the airport issue. In any case no matter what happens there cannot be attacks against civilian aircrafts,” said Heffern.

The U.S. diplomat also urged the sides to refrain from “provocation” actions.

During a press briefing Friday, US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland fielded a question regarding Baku’s continued threats to down civilian aircraft, most recently reiterated by Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister last week.

“The United States urges the parties to find a diplomatic solution to issues relating to the operation of the airport, in keeping with the relevant international agreements, customary international law, and the current practice between Armenia and Azerbaijan with respect to civilian air travel,” said Nuland.

“The OSCE Minsk Group issued a statement on this. There was one on April 14th, 2011. There was another one just this past July 2012, which represented the views of the United States, France and Russia in calling for a diplomatic solution. So I would urge you to take a look at that,” added Nuland.

“We also in those statements reiterated that the operation of this airport should not be used to support any claim of change in the status of Nagorno-Karabakh,” concluded Nuland.


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  1. armo1 said:

    Finally, the US does something. However, Azeri aggression will not be tamed by the comments of one ambassador. Armenia should open this airport ASAP and run planes to create an operational status quo immediately

  2. Ararat said:

    The day the airport is ready for operation, both Armenia and Artsakh should have long range missiles pointing to strategic locations in Axerbaijan, such as the oil pipelines, airports, military installations and draft-dodging coward Aliyev’s residence, and ready to fire to cause the outmost and catastrophic damage to the enemy.

    The best way to neutralize and defend against the empty threats from this belligerent and artificial state of Axerbaijan is a strong, punishing and devastating offense. I hope to see the airport in operation soon. Go ahead with the airport opening, mean what you say and never back down.

  3. GB said:

    I am sure that UK’s, BP, will never dump billions of investment into garbage, and let Aliev live happily in his oil Sheikdom!! May be it is time for a “Turkic spring” revolution in this tribal Sheikdom!!

  4. George said:

    Armenians should make sure the O.K. from both sides Russia nad US before starting to fly, they should not precipitate, time is on Armenians side.

  5. The truth said:

    These all sucks us! You have to fire both the president t of Republics! If the air port is ready to start the figahts go on, START!!!!! ! We don´t have to Baku for permistion! The way Stepnalert and Yervnan are actins SUCKS! As if Baku were in cotrol of air speace of NKR!. The officials in Stepenalert should shutt up! and start the operation of the air port as soon as itis ready! ELSE OFFICIAL YEREVAN SHOUL SHUT UP!!

  6. Ray said:

    Will someone explain to this barbarian goverment of Azerbaijan that it’s 2013 almost!
    It’s not enough they reward killers now they want to shoot down civlilian planes?

  7. Siamanto said:

    There better be not be a single plane flying in the entire Axerbaijian air space (like that name , very appropriate) when they try to attack a plane from Artsakh.

  8. Arm said:

    Empty threats by a nation who deserves no credibility. They will be really dumb to shoot down a civilian airplane. That’s why i’m a little concerned. We’re dealing with a stupid nation. Literally, all it’s citizens are stupid.