U.S, Washington, Dec. 7 / Trend N.Bogdanova /
The Gabala RLS does not play an important role in the U.S. administration's plan for a missile defense system, but the topic has not been removed from the agenda. The station can be used in the future, Washington-based European Policy Center Analyst Peter Doran told Trend .
"The Gabala station was very much on the agenda under the Bush administration in earlier attempts to show Russia that the missile defense plan is not a danger for Moscow," he said.
At the G8 summit in 2007, Moscow offered the U.S. joint use of the Gabala RLS in Azerbaijan, as well as the Armavir station being constructed in southern Russia to prevent rocket launches.
The Gabala RLS, which is located in northwestern Azerbaijan, was built during the Soviet times as an important element of the Soviet missile defense system. After Azerbaijan gained independence and took over the ownership of the RLS, Russia continued to use the station.
Doran believes that "the current administration has not rejected building the defense system in Europe, but simply changed its strategy."
He added that the Obama administration's focus will shift to a new technology - a weapons system with its own radar, which may then require the use of the Gabala station.
"There are many opportunities to enhance Russia-U.S. cooperation in the defense system," he added.
The analyst said the Pentagon's old defense plan focused on long-range strategic weapons. The new system will focus on short- and medium-range strategic weapons.
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