U.S. Assistant Secretary of State: Maybe, U.S. will continue dialogue with Azerbaijan over Gabala radar station
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 24 /Trend, S.Agayeva/
Maybe, the U.S. will continue dialogue with Azerbaijan over the Gabala radar station, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro said to a press conference in Baku.
Shapiro said currently the U.S. discusses the issues of missile defense systems with Russia as part of partnership with NATO.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov said the Gabala radar station assumes great importance for Azerbaijan, and also plays an important role in ensuring Russia's security.
Moscow Summit of Eight in the summer of 2007 offered the U.S. joint use of Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan, as well as being built in southern Russia in Armavir station to prevent rocket launches.
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 north-western Azerbaijan, was built during the Soviet times as one of the most important elements of a missile defense system of the USSR. After Azerbaijan gained independence and owned the RLS, Russia continued to use the station, despite all the upheavals of political life in Azerbaijan.
A ten-year agreement on leasing the station was signed in 2002. The question of the Gabala radar station has frequently been the subject of internal debates, including in the Parliament of Azerbaijan. In early 2006, Azerbaijan raised the issue of doubling the rent fee for the use of radar station - from $7 million to $14.4 million per year.