Armenia has always condemned the use of force against civilian planes, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Yerevan said on Friday, commenting on the situation with a passenger jet that was apparently shot down in Ukraine the previous day.
A total of 298 people were killed on board a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that flew over the Donbass area in eastern Ukraine, which is a zone of active military operations today. The plane was going from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, with citizens of the Netherlands, Malaysia and other countries on board.
Ukraine has accused Russia-backed separatists in its eastern regions of downing the civilian plane, while Moscow holds Kyiv responsible for the incident.
Armenia is shocked by the tragedy, spokesperson Tigran Balayan said to News.am, according to the official website of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We express condolences to the relatives of the innocent victims, to all those countries whose citizens lost their lives as a result of the tragedy. The president of the Republic of Armenia on behalf of the Armenian people has already sent condolence letters to the heads of Malaysia and the Netherlands,” he said.
Balayan said that “only a comprehensive investigation of the accident can shed light on the causes of the plane crash.”
“Armenia has always condemned and continues to consider the use of force and the threat of force against civil aircraft absolutely unacceptable,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman concluded.
Several years ago Armenia sought international condemnation of the threats reportedly made by some Azerbaijani officials to shoot down civilian planes flying to and from Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-controlled enclave that Baku considers to be part of Azerbaijan.
No large passenger aircraft has used the airport near the Nagorno-Karabakh capital of Stepanakert since it was reconstructed for commercial flights in 2012.