MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that the Russian army will no longer rent the Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan.
Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for the ministry, said that Russia stopped using the radar station on Monday and that the Russian Embassy in Baku “has sent a relevant note to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.”
The diplomat added that there were no proposals from Azerbaijan on resuming talks to prolong the lease agreement.
The lease, signed in 2002, was valid until December 24, 2012. Moscow and Baku have been in talks about prolonging the lease on Gabala until 2025 for more than a year.
The Gabala station, which has a staff of 1,100, is capable of tracking missile launches and trajectories over the territories of Iran, Turkey, China, Pakistan, India, Iraq and Australia, as well as most of Africa and parts of Indian and Atlantic oceans.
Russia will replace the Gabala radar, a crucial element of its missile defense system, with a new station in Armavir in Russia’s southern Krasnodar Region, then-commander of Russia’s Space Forces, Oleg Ostapenko, said in September.