Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.18 / Trend /
Russia plans to fully rebuild the Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan and at the same time reduce the size of the area leased for the radar station's needs, RIA Novosti quotes the Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying on Friday.
The Russian Defence Ministry has recently reported negotiations are underway with Azerbaijan to extend the lease of the Gabala radar station until 2025. Terms of the lease agreement and operational conditions of this facility will expire on Dec.24, 2012.
"We know how to do it. Rather, it will be a station with a great amount of construction work which will take place at the factory, then directly assembled in Gabala," Mr. Serdyukov said.
He added that any increase in Gabala facilities is useful and very important, but in this case the Russian military would like to fully upgrade the station, 'make it quite different, with different parameters'.
According to Mr. Serdyukov, in general Azerbaijan is not against it and the parties now only need to settle the financial side.
"They want to drastically increase the cost of the lease. However, we would like to keep it at the previous rate whilst reduce the area size that we lease. We do not need such an area of communication at the new station," Mr. Serdyukov said.
He recalled that a working group has been created for discussing issues with Azerbaijan related to the Gabala radar station. This includes representatives of the Defence Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Industry and Trade Ministry.
"We agreed with my Azerbaijani counterpart that commission members from the Russian side will visit Baku in the near future to continue discussions there. I have no worries that we will fail to agree," Mr. Serdyukov said.
The Gabala RS, is located in north-western Azerbaijan and was built in the Soviet period as one of the most important elements of the Russian missile defence system. After Azerbaijan gained independence, the RS become the country's property and Russia continued to use the station. A 10-year agreement to lease the station was signed in 2002.