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Armenia Ready to Provide Site for Russian Radar

RIA Novosti

13:23 04/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - If Russia fails to agree with Azerbaijan lease of the Gabala missile defense radar, Armenia is ready to provide a site on its territory for construction of the radar, Kommersant daily reported on Wednesday, quoting Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan.

“There may even be advantages, because Aremenia is a mountainous country. Coverage can be broader,” Sargsyan said.

Russia has been in talks with Azerbaijan to extend the lease of the Soviet-era radar, which it has operated in line with a 2002 deal. The current agreement is due to expire on December 24.

The Russian daily Kommersant newspaper reported in late February that Azerbaijan had demanded Russia pay $300 million instead of the previously agreed $7 million for the lease, which Russia is seeking to extend until 2025.

Sources in the Russian Defense Ministry were quoted as saying the price demanded by Baku was “unreasonably high.”

The deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, has said the end of the Gabala radar lease will do no “real damage” to Russia’s defense capabilities because another radar, constructed in the southern Russian town of Armavir, would cover the area of the Gabala radar.

The Voronezh-class radar in Armavir in the Black Sea area is currently operating in test mode and is a serious breakthrough when compared to the previous generation Dnepr and Daryal class radars, which the Gabala radar belongs to.

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