Qabala radar outcome
Azerbaijan do not depend on the Qabala Radiolocation Station"
By Vestnik Kavkaza
Yesterday, the official representative of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs Alexander Lukashevich confirmed closing of the Qabala Radiolocation Station in Azerbaijan. "Due to the expiration of the term of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Azerbaijani Republic on the Status, Principles, and Conditions of Using the Qabala Radiolocation Station on December 9, 2012, the Russian side stopped exploitation of the station on December 10th. The Russian embassy in Baku sent a correspondent note to the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan," he said.
Commenting of the situation over the radiolocation station in Qabala for Vestnik Kavkaza, the president of the Union of Consulting, Analysis, and PR Companies, Islamil Agakishiyev, noted: "It is well-known that the RLS in Qabala which was constructed in the Soviet period is old. When Russia proposed America to use the facility together instead of establishing the US missile defense system several years ago, Washington found the proposal "not technological." The Azerbaijani side as the owner of the RLS (Russia rented the station) treated positively the idea, trying to prevent confrontation between great powers in the region. The strategy is aimed at the regional cooperation and was formulated by Heydar Aliyev in 1993. The same political line continues today, being improved by numerous economic projects implemented by various countries, including Russia, in Azerbaijan."
According to the expert, talks that ceasing exploitation of the Qabala RLS by Russia can lead to worsening of relations with Azerbaijan have no grounds. "Along with the fact that the station's equipment is old, Russia has established an alternative with a more effective RLS in Armavir. The new station is able to replace the Azerbaijani facility completely and adequately provide security of Russia at a higher technological level," Ismail Agakishiyev said. The press secretary of Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, said about this: "Russia has potential to compensate not using the Qabala radiolocation station in Azerbaijan." Pesknov stated that "it is up to experts to close it or not, but all necessary measures for Russia's security - technological and infrastructural - have been taken."
"The point is that during the period from 1991 to the present days Azerbaijan have been helping Russia to provide protection of its south borders from a possible missile attack for a symbolic price. It should be noted that the Azerbaijani analogue of the RLS in the Baltic Region, in Skrunda was closed right after the dissolution of the USSR, the RLS was exploded. We shouldn't forget this. Baku confirms its devotion to the strategic partnership with Russia. As a reliable partner Azerbaijan waited for Russia builds a new modern RLS which could replace the Qabala station. Working of the Qabala RLS is topped ahead of launching a new station in January 2013. Doesn't it mean a mutual decision on closing the Qabala RLS?" Islamil Agakishiyev states.
He is sure that nobody in Azerbaijan wants to reject the course for strategic partnership with Russia: "Economic cooperation between the countries is growing. It is confirmed by volumes of trade turnover and the increasing number of contacts in humanitarian and social spheres, many other examples of personal contacts between people from two countries."
Commenting on importance of the region where the station is located for Azerbaijan, the expert emphasized that Qabala is a special place. "Today along with agriculture the sphere of tourism is developing here. Many high-class hotels have been built in beautiful mountains, a mountain skiing cluster is being constructed, the modern international airport is functioning, which requires an inflow of hundred thousand tourists. It is notable that the first international flight to Qabala was made from Russia. Russians come here, to Azerbaijani Switzerland, as conditions for rest and cultural entertainments are provided for them. For four years Qabala holds the international music festival where the best symphonic orchestras of the world perform, the best singers of Russia and other countries. Economy of Qabala is developed by industrial enterprises - production of juices, milk products, a factory producing pianos. There are many examples of positive development."
"It is no secret that Azerbaijan buys Russian armament for providing its security. One of functions of any state is protection of its citizens and borders, and in this sense Russia helps Azerbaijan. Moreover, there are high-tech projects in various spheres between two countries. We will soon see their implementation. The projects will bring million revenues to people of Russia and Azerbaijan," Agakishiyev concludes.