Azerbaijan, Russia start talks on extension of lease term of Gabala radar

Wed 18 May 2011 04:43 GMT | 08:43 Local Time

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Azerbaijan and Russia will hold a meeting concerning the extension of the lease term of Gabala Radar after January, 2012, military sources reported.

The talks will be held with the participation of the representatives of Russian and Azerbaijani defense ministries. The sides will discuss the preparation of the new contract in connection with the expiry of the lease term in January, 2012.

“Azerbaijan wants to prepare the new contract. Baku has got a number of proposals concerning it,” said the source and added that the proposals include increase of the lease payment, extra assistance of Russia for eliminating the ecological impacts of the radar, increase of the number of Azerbaijanis in the staff of the radar station, joint use of the radar, non-passage of information to the third state without the consent of Baku etc.

According to the source, in August, 2010 the Azerbaijani government wrote off the energy debts of the radar accumulated by 1997. It is planned to raise the issue on payment of the debt by Russia.

The new draft agreement, which will be prepared by the end of this year, will be submitted to the parliament for ratification. The new contract is expected to come into force in March, 2012.

Daryal-type radar, which is located in Gabala region of Azerbaijan, was put in operation in 1985. It is one of the eight main stations of the USSR Missile Defense Complex. The radar station has a range of up to 6,000 kilometres, and was designed to detect missile launches as far as from the Indian Ocean.

The radar’s surveillance covers Iran, Turkey, India, Iraq and the entire Middle East. It allows not only detection of the launch of a missile but also to track the whole of its trajectory so as to enable a ballistic missile defense system to intercept an offensive strike. An agreement was signed in 2002, according to which Russia leased the station from Azerbaijan until 2012 for $7 million per year.




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