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Talks On Azerbaijani Radar Could Begin In July

General Yury Baluyevsky (file photo) (epa) June 12, 2007 -- A Russian general says Moscow hopes to begin consultations with Washington in July on the joint use of an Azerbaijani radar station to guard against missile threats.

General Yury Baluyevsky, who heads the Russian General Staff, says Moscow hopes consultations can begin after President Vladimir Putin's visit to the United States in July.

Washington has proposed installing interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic as part of a missile-defense system, but Russia objects to the plan.

On June 7, Putin made a surprise counteroffer, saying the United States and Russia could jointly use the Russian-controlled Qabala (Gabala) radar station in Azerbaijan as part of the missile-defense system. He followed up by saying U.S. missile interceptors could be located in Turkey, Iraq, or on sea platforms.

U.S. President George W. Bush described the offer as "interesting."

(Reuters, ITAR-TASS)

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