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Russian delegation to Azerbaijan to discuss Gabala radar issue

December 07, 2011, 18:25 UTC+3
In November, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov stated the Gabala radar rent for Russia should be increased to several hundred million dollars
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MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russia is sending an inter-departmental delegation to Azerbaijan to discuss the agreement on the Gabala radar which is part of the Russian missile warning system, spokeswoman for the Russian Defense ministry Lt-Col Irina Kovalchuk said on Wednesday, following the talks between Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his Azerbaijani counterpart Safar Abiyev.

"In the course of the Wednesday meeting, the parties discussed the current state of and prospects for bilateral military interaction, including prolongation of the agreement on the status, principles and terms of use of the Gabala radar," Kovalchuk noted, "it is planned to begin inter-state negotiations in the nearest future towards the final settlement of these issues."

To this end, an "inter-departmental Russian delegation leaves for Baku. It will be led by Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, the spokeswoman added. She did not specify the date of the visit.

In November, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov stated the Gabala radar rent for Russia should be increased to several hundred million dollars.

"On the one hand, we regard the current sum of the rent, which amounts to seven million dollars, as inadequate to the value and significance this radar has for Russia from the point of view of its national interests, and, on the other, to the risks and threats Azerbaijan might encounter in case the radar continues to function. Considering the possible limit of the rent, we assume it might be around several hundred million dollars. It would conform to international experience, including the Russian Federation's practice in the context of similar agreements with other countries," the deputy minister said.

In his opinion, it is impossible for Azerbaijan to use the Gabala radar station in its own interests and national security needs, because the facility "has preset parameters and coordinates of the directions of its operation, as well as certain design specifics."

Moscow and Baku agreed on a 10-year-lease of the Gabala radar in 2002. The lease agreement expires in 2012.

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