Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 April / Trend corr. K.Zarbaliyeva / Azerbaijan is ready to assist in providing security in the Euro-Atlantic area.
"We will be pleased if the Gabala Radar Station promotes security in the Euro-Atlantic area," Ziyafat Askarov, the Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijan, stated to journalists on 7 April.
Within the framework of the G-8 summit on 7 June 2007, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, offered US joint exploitation of Gabala Radar Station. He noted the advantage of deployment of Anti-Missile Defence (AMD) elements in Azerbaijan rather in Poland and the Czech Republic. Putin indicated that the Gabala Radar Station will enable the detection and crack-down of any rival missiles in the first section of the boost trajectory in which the remains of the missiles will be directed into the sea and not on any European cities, which is of great importance, Putin stressed. Later the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that Putin's offer did not imply that Iran had any nuclear weapons.
Gabala Radar Station situated in the north-west of Azerbaijan was built during the USSR period as an important element of the USSR AMD. The 10-year agreement to lease the station was signed in 2002. Annual rent charges total $14mln.
The Russian President suggested the United States refuse the AMD system in Poland and Czech Republic and in exchange they could utilize the Gabala Radar Station located in Azerbaijan. The proposal was made in June 2007. Though the United States did not alter its plans regarding Eastern Europe, the UDS experts met in Azerbaijan on 18 September to discuss the issue
Anne E. Derse, the United States Ambassador in Azerbaijan, called for Azerbaijan to join in its struggle against threats from Iran. "We believe that there is a threat from Iran for the United States, Europe and Russia and therefore, we call upon Azerbaijan to implement joint measures against this possible threat," the American Ambassador stated.