The Defense Ministers of Russia and Azerbaijan on Thursday discussed the order of joint work over prolongation of the validity term of the Gabala radar agreement up to 2025, Lieutenant-Colonel Irina Kovalchuk, Press Secretary of the Defense Minister of Russia, told journalists on Thursday.
Bilateral meeting of the Russian Defense Chief Anatoly Serdukov and his Azerbaijani counterpart Safar Abiyev was conducted following the completion of the 61st meeting of the CIS Council of Defense Ministers in Almati, Russian news agency Novosti reported.
"They agreed (at the meeting) to intensify work to shortly agree upon and prepare for signing a document strengthening accords between the Russian and Azerbaijani Defense Ministries over this issue," Kovalchuk said.
The validity period of the Gabala radar lease and operation terms agreement expires on December 24, 2012.
No comments from the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan were immediately available.
The Gabala radar, located in the northwest of Azerbaijan, was built in the Soviet era as one of the most important elements of the USSR missile defense system. After Azerbaijan regained its independence and became the owner of the radar, Russia continued to use the radar despite all peripeteia of Azerbaijan's internal political life. The 10-year Gabala radar lease agreement was signed in 2002. Russia uses the radar to detect missile movement in the southern hemisphere to warn about possible launch of ballistic missiles from the territories of Iran, Pakistan and India.