Newspaper : Azerbaijan may hike up rent for Gabala radar station
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.29 / Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva /
Azerbaijan may increase the rent for using the Gabala radar station which is currently being leased by Russia from $7 million to $300 million a year, Kommersant newspaper reported on Feb.29 with reference to sources in the Russian Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry.
According to the newspaper, difficulties began during bilateral negotiations because Azerbaijan demanded a rent increase to $300 million, although it previously got $7 million November 2011 although it requested $15 million.
'This sum is in no way justified and is extremely high and we will seek a considerable reduction. We still have hope that we will reach an agreement', the newspaper reported. The Azerbaijani side has not yet commented.
Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov held talks earlier this month with the Azerbaijani delegation headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov on extending the Agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan on the status, principles and conditions of use of the Gabala radar station (Darial radar station) from Jan.25, 2002, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
During the talks it was agreed to continue consultations on this issue for the preparation and signing of the relevant bilateral document.
The Gabala radar station located in north-west Azerbaijan was built during the Soviet period as one of the most important elements of the USSR's missile defence system. After Azerbaijan gained independence the radar station become the country's property and Russia continued to use it.
Previously, the Defence Ministry reported about holding negotiations with Azerbaijan to extend the lease of the Gabala radar station until 2025. The terms of the lease agreement and exploitation conditions of this facility expire in December, 2012.
Russia plans to complete the construction of a new radar station Voronezh-VP in Gabala, Azerbaijan in 2019. This station will replace that belonging to the previous generation Darial, general director of Academician A.L. Mints Radio Engineering Institute Vladimir Savchenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti earlier.