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Baku-Moscow Deal on Gabalin Radar Station Near Completion

Moscow INTERFAX 28 Apr 95
[From the "Presidential Bulletin" feature: compiled by Nikolay Zherebtsov, Andrey Petrovskiy, edited by Vladimir Shishlin]

A draft agreement on Russia's radar station at Gabalin (northern Azerbaijan) is near completion though the question of staff and the amount of payment to Azerbaijan remains unresolved, a presidential source in Baku told Interfax. He said the Gabalin facility was more powerful than a similar station at Skrunda (Latvia). The source said the issue was high on the agenda of recent talks with a team of Russian deputies led by Sergey Baburin and its meeting with President Aliyev. He said the Russian deputies had called for finalizing the negotiation and granting the facility the status of a Russian army base in Azerbaijan, he said.

In the meantime, a senior Azeri government official told Interfax that widespread speculations on the issue were unsubstantiated. The source said the station belongs to Azerbaijan though can be run together with Russia. He said Russia ran a millions of dollars energy bill to Baku for electricity supply to the station, but the dispute can be resolved as part of mutual debt settlement between the two countries. Azerbaijan and Russia are expected to sign an agreement on the Gabalin facility in May.