Moscow : Russia is ready to use the Gabala radar station together with the United States or with both the United States and Azerbaijan, the Russian defense minister’s adviser Ilshat Baichurin said on Wednesday.
“Defense Minister of Russia Anatoly Serdyukov said during today’s meeting with Defense Minister of Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev that his country’s defense ministry is ready to operate the Gabala radar station both in bilateral and trilateral formats,” Baichurin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
Azerbaijan is prepared for the joint use of the Gabala radar station by Russia and the United States, Azeri Defense Minister Abiyev said.
“During today’s bilateral meeting in Moscow with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, we confirmed Azerbaijan’s preparedness for the joint use by Russia and the United States of the radar station in Gabala and signed a relevant protocol,” Abiyev said.
“The Gabala radar station is Azerbaijan’s property, and we should be a party in Russian-U.S. negotiations on using this station,” he said.
Bilateral negotiations between Russia and the United States or negotiations involving Azerbaijan on the use of the Gabala radar have not been started so far, he said.
Putin proposed to Bush at the G8 summit on June 7 that the United States jointly use with Russia the Gabala radar base in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, to replace its plan to station missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
Bush described the proposal as “interesting” and said the two sides had formed a working group of experts to see how they could cooperate on missile defense.