Russian Politician Considers Joint Exploitation of Azerbaijani Gabala Radar Station by Russia and US to be Possible
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr A. Gasymova / Russian politician, Director of Political Research Institution, Sergey Markov, is positive that Russia and the United States will jointly exploit the Gabala radar station located in Azerbaijan. "Undoubtedly, Russia and the United States will jointly exploit the Gabala radar station. The question is when," Markov said.
On the 7th June, as a result of a meeting with the US President George Bush, during the G-8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, Putin highlighted his proposal to jointly utilizing the Russian-leased Azerbaijan Gabala Radar Station with the US. In response to the plans of the US to establish a missile-defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic, the Russian President highlighted the key advantage of such an approach: the system will be in maximum proximity to the object being tracked and observed.
Speaking on 12 July by telephone from Kiev on the prospects in the cooperation of missile-defence between Russia and the United States, Markov noted that the cooperation was inevitable. "As Russia and the United States belong to a single civilization, they share today essentially the same values. For this reason their cooperation is natural and inevitable," Markov said.
The representative of the US Administration repeatedly stated last month that the Gabala radar station cannot change the plans on location of missile-shield in the Czech Republic and Poland. In accordance with the recent agreement between US and Russian Presidents, the first meeting between Russian and US working groups on missile-shield issues was scheduled for the end of July in Washington. Markov believes the United States will not delay definite moves in order to fulfil its previous plans. "Implementation of the plans on missile-shield will take years. For this reason the time when the United States and Russia will begin cooperation does not change anything," the politician noted. According to Markov, a lot of time is required to study the technical details. "Cooperation between Russia and the United States in missile-defence depends on how soon the United States will change their thinking, which was formed during the old war. "I think that will happen very soon," Markov added.
Gabala Radar Station situated in the north-west of Azerbaijan was built while part of the USSR as an important element of the USSR AMD. When Azerbaijan became independence Russia continued exploitation of the station. The 10-year agreement to lease the station was signed in 2002.