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Russia Allows Radar Deal With Azerbaijan to Expire

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry says an agreement with Russia to use a sophisticated radar system has expired and Moscow has made clear it is not interested in renewing the deal.

The agreement for the Qabala early-warning radar station expired on December 9, 2012.

It was the last Russian base in Azerbaijan with reportedly some 1,000 Russian and 500 Azerbaijani servicemen stationed there.

The radar system has a range of approximately 6,000 kilometers.

Officials from the two countries have been negotiating an extension since 2011 but Russian media reported Moscow's refusal to prolong the agreement was due to Azerbaijan's insistence on increasingly higher rent.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported that the original deal called for annual payments of $7 million but Azerbaijan later "increased that $150 million."

With reporting by Interfax

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