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ALAMATY, November 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and Azerbaijan are going to prolong the Gabala radar lease contract till 2025. The radar is part of Russia’s missile attack warning system.
As the Russian Defense Ministry’s press-secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel Irina Kovalchyuk, told the media, that question was discussed at Thursday’s meeting between Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his Azerbaijani counterpart Colonel-General Safar Abiyev.
“The two sides discussed the procedure of joint work to prolong till 2025 the lease contract for the Gabala radar,” Kovalchyuk said. “It was agreed to step up work with the aim to agree and prepare for signature within tight deadlines a document that would formalize the agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan on the issue.”
According to Kovalchuk, "at the end of the 61st meeting of the Council of the CIS Defense Ministers the Russian defense minister held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan."
"At the meetings with the defense ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazakhstan plans were approved for military cooperation between the Russian Ministry of Defense and the defense ministries of these countries in 2012," she said.
"At a meeting with the Defense Minister of Tajikistan, Colonel-General Sharali Khairulloyev Serdyukov outlined Russia's stance on related issues, such as the security of Tajikistan and of the region as a whole," Kovalchuk said. “In compliance with the agreements the presidents of Russia and Tajikistan reached at their meeting in Dushanbe preparations are underway for signing an agreement on the Russian military base in Tajikistan for 49 years. "
Kovalchuk quoted the Russian defense minister as saying "this will proceed in conjunction with assistance to Tajikistan in developing its armed forces and their equipment with modern hardware." According to the press service official, "Tajikistan’s minister of defense confirmed the stabilizing role of the Russian military presence in the country and the need to create a friendly environment for the base."
As Kovalchuk said, "at a meeting with Armenia’s Defense Minister Seiran Oganian some issues were discussed of military-technical cooperation", whose level the parties described as "high".
According to the spokesperson, at a meeting with the defense minister of Kazakhstan, Adilbek Dzhaksybekov "a frank exchange of views took place on the status and prospects of bilateral cooperation in the military sphere."
"Particular attention was paid to the issues of forming a unified air defense system,” she said. “In particular, practical steps were identified that would be taken in 2012-2014 to promote the integration of the Russian and Kazakh air defense systems.”