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Russia, Azerbaijan Renegotiate Radar Station Lease

Azerbaijan's Qabala radar stationAzerbaijan's Qabala radar station
Azerbaijan's Qabala radar station
Azerbaijan's Qabala radar station
BAKU -- Russian officials are in Baku to discuss the renewal of Moscow's lease for Azerbaijan's Qabala radar station, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told journalists after talks with Colonel General Safar Abiyev, Azerbaijan's defense minister, on July 25 that Moscow had prepared proposals for modernizing the Qabala facility.

Serdyukov said a Russian working group will travel to Baku soon to finalize the technical issues involved in the extension of the lease and Moscow's modernization plans. Then he will meet with Abiyev in August to discuss details of the new lease, he added.

Serdyukov also met on July 25 with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Qabala was built in 1985 and can monitor missile launches in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The current 10-year lease, under which Russia pays $10 million annually, expires in August 2012.

Azerbaijani officials said recently they wanted to raise the rent that Moscow pays to use the facility. 

Cesur Sumerinli, who heads the Doktrina military think tank in Baku, told RFE/RL that "apparently, there is a verbal consensus [on a long-term lease for Qabala]. I think Baku has held relevant consultations with the West in recent months...[and it] expressed no objection to Russia leasing the radar station. I think Azerbaijan will sign a lease agreement with Russia in the near future."

Sumerinli said he thought the new annual lease payment will be around $50 million.

Read more in Azeri here
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Comment Sorting
by: Sara Tahiran from: Baki
July 28, 2011 16:23
There is no military point of view of Qabala radar station at the moment , because this structure is 70 years of the last century and equipment in it at the time.
Satellite-computer technology get the most development , that no self respecting country has been using for ground surveillance at his opponent If you remember, several years ago Russian suggested to Americans to share radar, from which the Americans refused, arguing that the equipment available out there obsolete. However, this is fact Qabala radar station is Russian military base in Azerbaijan and the question related to this base is more political than military. It's no secret that the key of Karabakh is a Russian and Russian doesn't care that Armenia lost or not. They need to stay in the region, so as not to slide to disintegration. Because, having lost the Caucasus, the Russian will lose everything. First of all control over the Caspian Sea, a strategic region, where, to put words to Brzezinski, this unfolding geopolitical game that determines whose is this energy region, i.e. This region determines which country will control these territories, he will be a superpower. Not only American, but Russian analysts and well aware of the importance of the South Caucasus region, so all of their foreign policy aims to keep it. Karabakh holding Armenia in the leash, it ran away not to embrace their Western masters, who almost took her from the hands of Russia, forcing her to sign protocols in Switzerland. It's no secret that the Qabala radar station to Russia is a reference point in Azerbaijan, so it will remain under the supervision of Russia, who does not want anyone to give in controlling over the South Caucasus and often declares that the Caucasus is Russia's strategic interests.