Ruling party: Russia's refusal to take up Gabala radar station not to affect relations with Azerbaijan

Ruling party: Russia's refusal to take up Gabala radar station not to affect relations with Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 11 / Trend M. Aliyev /

Russia has turned down leasing the Gabala radar station, but this will have no negative impact on the country's relations with Azerbaijan, deputy chairman of the ruling New Azerbaijan party, MP Ali Ahmadov told the media today.

The Azerbaijani side has taken certain actions on leasing the Gabala radar station, he said.
"Azerbaijan has proposed to extend the term of the lease," he said. "Russia did not accept the proposal. I think that the two countries have good relations. The refusal to accept the Gabala radar station is a decision made in line with normal negotiations between the two countries. If such a decision was taken on the basis of a mutual agreement, this cannot be a cause of tension between the two countries."

Azerbaijan is an independent country," he said. "The country demonstrates its state independence in all respects. Halting the Gabala radar station's activity will not cause tension between the two countries, he reiterated.

"There are many reasons stipulating the formation of the relations between the two countries and their current state," he said. "There are those in the economic, humanitarian, cultural and other fields. All this stipulates the formation of relations on the basis of the mutual interests of both countries."

As for Azerbaijan's exploitation of the Gabala radar station, he said that if necessary the conclusion will be made by the appropriate specialists.

On Monday the Russian side delivered a note halting the use of the radar station as of December 10, 2012 in connection with the expiration of the 'Agreement on the status, exploitation principles and conditions of the Gabala radar station between the Azerbaijani and Russian Governments' on Dec. 9, 2012, the Azerbaijani foreign ministry reported earlier.
According to the document, Baku has demonstrated its readiness to continue cooperating with Moscow on extending the lease of the radar station, but the sides failed to reach the agreement on the rental cost.

"The new Voronezh station can perform all the tasks of Gabala," a source at the Russian Defence Ministry told RIA Novosti. "The new system was created upon high operational technology at Armavir, in Krasnodar."

Baku believes that cessation of the Gabala radar station's operation will not affect bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Russia.

The Gabala radar station located in north-west Azerbaijan was built during the Soviet period as one of the most important elements of the USSR's missile defence system. After Azerbaijan gained independence, the radar station became the country's property and Russia continued to use it.

Previously, the defence ministry reported that it was holding negotiations with Azerbaijan to extend the lease of the Gabala radar station until 2025.

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