The Russian Defence Ministry intends to successfully end talks with Azerbaijan on extension of lease of radar station in Gabala till June, 2012, Rossiyskaya Gazeta quoted Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov as saying on Thursday.
He said current term of lease of Gabala missile radar station expires in late 2012 and new agreement on lease extension should be signed 6 months before the expiration of this term. Government delegation of Azerbaijan will visit Moscow to continue talks on lease of the radar station within 2 weeks.
"After 10-15 days we will hold in Moscow a meeting at interstate delegations' level to discuss this issue," Mr Antonov noted. Assessing current situation on talks with Baku on lease of the station he said: "I do not see any problems in solving this problem, we have all the necessary instructions from the leadership, and the remaining questions are purely technical".
The Gabala RS, located in north-western Azerbaijan and was built in the Soviet period as one of the most important elements of the Russian missile defence system. After Azerbaijan gained independence, the RS become the country's property and Russia continued to use the station. A 10-year agreement to lease the station was signed in 2002.
Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov visited Azerbaijan in late July, 2011, during which he discussed in particular issue of extension of a lease term of the Gabala radar station. Mr Serdyukov told reporters then that "Russia developed its proposals on the further operation of Gabala RS. A working group dealing with development of technical issues of the further operation of the station was formed in late 2011. It was also reported that Russia intends to complete work on Gabala RS reconstruction within 2 years.