BAKU, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and U.S. defense and foreign ministers will discuss the joint use of the Gabala radar Russia leases from Azerbaijan in October, the Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan said Thursday.
"Experts will report their conclusions at a '2+2' meeting that is tentatively set for October," Vasily Istratov told a briefing in Baku.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday Azerbaijani-Russian-U.S. consultations on the joint use of Gabala will be held September 18, adding that Russian, U.S. and Azerbaijani delegations will include both technical experts and diplomatic officials, and that the Azerbaijani team will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov.
Istratov said experts from the General Staff, the Space Forces and the Foreign Ministry will take part in the consultations from Russia.
The United States said in January it was planning to deploy components of its global antimissile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland to avert possible strikes from "rogue states," such as Iran and North Korea.
But Russia, already unnerved by NATO expansion to former Warsaw Pact member states, has condemned the plans as a threat to national security and a destabilizing factor for Europe. Moscow warned that its response would be commensurate and effective.
At the G8 summit in June, President Vladimir Putin offered the U.S. the use of the Gabala radar station as a compromise solution in the ongoing dispute. The radar, located near the town of Minchegaur, 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the capital Baku, was leased to Russia for 10 years in 2002.
The radar station has been operational since early 1985. With a range of 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles), it is the most powerful in the region and can detect any missile launches in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa.