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.