Russia, Moscow / Тrend corr R. Aghayev / The Azerbaijani Gabala Radar Station is intended to prevent possible military-political tensions between the United States and Russia and it contributes to Azerbaijan's international prestige, being an important factor of timely prevention of threats to international stability, the President of the Russian Academy for Geopolitical Problems, colonel-general Leonid Ivashov stated.
During the G-8 summit G-8 on 7 June, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, proposed the joint use of the Gabala Radar Station with the United States. He noted the advantage of the deployment of Anti-Missile Defence (AMD) elements in Azerbaijan rather than in Poland and the Czech Republic. Putin indicated that the Gabala Radar Station will enable detection and shaking down rival missiles in the first section of boost trajectory. So, the wreckage of the missiles will not fall on European cities but into the sea, which is of great importance, Putin stressed.
"When the United States stated that it was contracting a radar station in the Czech Republic in order to keep an eye on Iran, the Russian President proposed a cheaper way and somehow confused the United States, as the Unites States wants a radar station for continuous radar space over Russia in order to watch any movement and possible launching of Russian ballistic missiles and aviation and so on," Ivashov noted.
According to Ivashov, the Gabala Radar Station is doing the same in connection with US missiles, primarily missiles launched from submarines, as well as cruise missiles. "In this matter Iran is a secondary objective. Undoubtedly, the United States will never change its plans and the AMD system for the joint use of Gabala Radar Station with Russia," the high-ranking military expert said.
According to Ivashov, the Unites States well understands that it has been invited to keep an eye on its own submarines, ballistic and cruise missiles. Moreover, it should be noted that the project of the US AMD system was launched as far back as 1996 and has profoundly developed. Furthermore, a powerful scientific-technical and production corporation has been established, big money has been invested, some people have already benefited from the system, and that has become a real program of the United States and it will be impossible to give that all up at once. The politician is confident that the United States will reject Putin's proposal. The country will try to make out the situation, to learn several technical secrets, to press upon the Azerbaijani Government, to cause suspicions in Iran, Turkey and so on. "The Unites States will not stop its program or one element of the program for the sake of cooperation which as a matter of principle undermines its plans and sights of world security that is total radar control of Russian nuclear weapons. The United States will not let that," Ivashov noted.
As to the prospects of Russian presence in Azerbaijan and in the South Caucasus, the politician noted that Russia would leave them only in case of some fantastic action resulting in the destruction of all nuclear-missile weapons of the United States, or a decision in that connection is made, or the Unites States stops geopolitical rivalry with Russia. "However, that will not happen and Russia will still stay here until after 2012. We do not know how the situation in the region will be but the current occasions display that the situation will be very complicated. The Gabala Radar Station does not attack; it just watches the Unites States behaving very aggressively.
The Gabala Radar Station is situated in the north-west of Azerbaijan and was built while part of the USSR as an important element of the USSR AMD. When Azerbaijan gained independence, Russia continued using the station despite political tensions in Azerbaijan. A 10-year agreement to leasing the station was signed in 2002.