Armenian government is ready to offer its territory for construction of new Russian early warning radar, said Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan.
“Of course. If our territory is of such interest, we’re open for dialogue”, Sargsyan told Kommersant.
Answering the question about the radar’s search range, he emphasized it could be longer than Gabala Radar Station has. “Moreover, coverage can be even larger, since Armenia is mountainous country”, Sargsyan said.
Recall that Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on March 6 that Russia and Azerbaijan were finishing talks on leasing of Gabala Radar.
Russian-Azerbaijanian talks on prolongation of the Gabala Radar’s leasing reached a deadlock due to controversies in lease payment, wrote Kommersant late Feb 2012.
Baku wanted to increase lease payment from $7 mln up to $300 mln without any price concessions. Russian defense ministry said the price was inadequate and warned that Moscow would quit Gabala radar if Baku wouldn’t tame its appetite.
Gabala Radar Station was one of the key components in Soviet missile defense system. When Azerbaijan obtained independence, Russia continued to use the radar. The leasing agreement was tied in 2002. It expires on Dec 24, 2012.
Recall that in Jan 2012 Turkey put in service an early warning radar located next to borders on Iran, Georgia, and Armenia. It became the part of missile defenses deployed by the US in Europe.
According to Turkish media, the radar will be controlled by operation center located in Germany; Turkish authorities will be informed on the acquired data.
The US needs that radar to provide coordinates of potential targets to Mediterranean-stationed American warships armed with interceptor missiles.
Deployment of interceptors in Romania and Poland (by 2015 and 2018 respectively) is a part of the same plan.
Turkey’s position aroused scathing criticism of Tehran charging Ankara of attempts to protect Israel from Iran’s potential missile strikes.
Naval Today Staff , April 06, 2012; Image: contact