Armenia said 120 soldiers were to be picked up and transported to Germany for further training before being deployed to Afghanistan as part of a NATO agreement.
Germany’s Der Spiegel reported that the German Air Force aircraft was on its way to Yerevan in late July when Turkish air traffic controllers unexpectedly refused to give it overflight permission.
As a result, the plane returned to Germany. In mid-August, the soldiers were flown to Germany over Russian airspace.
Anna Naghdalian, the spokeswoman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, told reporters: “It is condemnable that Turkey now also obstructs NATO-led and UN-led peacekeeping operations based on its anti-Armenian positions.”
The German plane was reportedly not allowed to fly over Turkish territory just days after the outbreak of heavy fighting on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan, Turkey’s closest regional ally.
Ankara blamed Yerevan for the weeklong hostilities, which left 17 soldiers dead.
Armenia is an active contributor to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and has had soldiers in the country since 2009 – initially supporting the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and, following the completion of ISAF’s mission, is now supporting the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.