U.S. Opposes Gabala Radar Station as Alternative of Missile Shield in Europe: American Expert

Russia, Moscow, 18 March / corr. Trend R. Agayeva/ Americans do want to see the Russia's proposal on Gabala Radar Station (RS) as an alternative to anti-missile defense system in Poland and Czechia, Nikolai Zlobin, the American expert said.

On 18 March, two-day consultations in the format of 2+2 of the foreign ministers and ministers of defense of Russia and U.S. ended in Moscow. Condoleezza Rise, the U.S. secretary of state and Robert Gates, the head of Pentagon took part in the consultations. According to the experts, joint use of Gabala RS, taken on a lease by Russia in Azerbaijan, was one of the subjects of discussions in the consultations.

"Putin's proposal regarding Gabala is of great significance for Americans. On the other hand, Americans do not want to make it alternative to their own variant. They want to put together the two variants and to use what Putin proposed while carrying out their plan in Czechia, Poland and Turkey," Nikolai Zlobin, the director of Russian and Asian Programs, World Security Institute(U.S), said to Trend on 18 March.

According to the expert, Gabala RS is still of great importance and the technologies in the Station do not duplicate those that Americans want to use in the East Europe, therefore Americans are interested in the joint use of Gabala RS in Azerbaijan.

Many Americans groundlessly claim that the proposals of Putin on the joint use of missile shield shows that Moscow Russia, not directly, but indirectly admits the danger of Iran's nuclear program, Zlobin said. "Putin's proposal is appreciated in U.S. as indirect admission of Iranian danger and as a need to take certain steps to prevent it, therefore, RS in Azerbaijan is still important and majority of the problems are connected with the policy and right configuration of how to use it," he said.

The current talks on missile defense system in Moscow, aims at solving other tasks as well," the expert said. "Firstly, it aims at demonstrating that the dialogue is continuing. Secondly, to demonstrate that the out-going Russian president passes this subject to the new Russian president in order to keep succession in the Russian policy. The most important is that everyone understands that the dialogue on missile shield is not connected with the details, but with the fact that the dialogue shows the colossal distrust between Russia and U.S. And these talks first of all, are attempts to show that this distrust can be eliminated. Both the outgoing Presidents- Bush and Putin, want to leave some elements of optimism in the Russia-America relations," expert said.

"The situation has gone so far that it is impossible to solve all these problems now. However, the missile shield problem can be discussed and political compromise can be reached, after the atmosphere of bilateral relations is changed. The Americans are addressing precisely these issues with Putin and Medvedev, but not concrete technical tasks of installation of the missile shield in the Eastern Europe," Zlobin said.

In summer 2007, the president of Russia proposed U.S to lease and use Gabala RS in Azerbaijan together. The proposal was made on condition that U.S. will refuse to install missile shield in Poland and Czechia. However U.S. did not accept Russia's proposal.

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