Russia to insist on suspension of U.S. missile defense deployment in East Europe

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax-AVN) – Russia will insist at the upcoming consultations with U.S. experts to deal with the joint use of the Gabala radar station  in Azerbaijan that the U.S. suspend the deployment of its missile  defense  elements  in  East Europe, Alexander Yakushin, a first deputy chief  of  staff  of  the  Russian  Space Forces, said at a press
conference in Moscow on Saturday.
“Our  key  goal at these consultations is to stop the deployment of missile  defense  elements  in  East  Europe – in the Czech Republic and Poland,” Yakushin said.
Yakushin  will  lead  the  Russian negotiating team at the talks in Baku on  September  18,  in  which  Russian Foreign and Defense Ministry officials and also U.S. and Azeri experts are to take part.
The  meeting  will  last about three or four hours, after which its participants  will  be  able  to  tell  journalists  about its outcomes, Yakushin said.
The principal purpose of the possible joint use of the Gabala radar station  is  to monitor the essence and dynamics of missile threats from the southern direction, he said.
The  key  goal at the present stage is “to appropriately respond to threats that exist in the southern direction,” Yakushin said.
The  results  of the talks to be held in Azerbaijan on September 18 will be  reported  to  Russia’s  military-political leadership, and this information  will  be at hand at the Russian-U.S talks in the 2+2 format in October, he said.    
The  Russian  negotiating  team  will  include  officials  from the Defense  and  Foreign  Ministries,  and  the U.S. will be represented by officials  from  the  Pentagon and the Missile Defense Agency, and other experts.
Azeri officials will also attend the talks in Baku.    
About  ten  people  will  represent  each  party  at  the  talks in Azerbaijan, he said.
Journalists will not be permitted to be present at the talks at the Gabala station  and  will  be  able  to receive all information on their results  upon their conclusion outside the station’s territory, Yakushin said.
At the same time, the level of Russia’s openness can be seen by the fact that  U.S.  experts  will  be  admitted to the radar station, which plays a major role in providing Russia’s national security, he said.
Yakushin said he would hope that Russian experts would be given the chance to  visit  a  similar  facility in the U.S. in the future. “We at least count on this,” he said.


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