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Russia and Azerbaijan sign deal on radar station

Russia's Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his Azerbaijani counterpart have signed a deal, allowing Russia, Azerbaijan and the U.S. to use the Gabala radar station.

The station is able to detect the launch of missiles anywhere between Iran and North Africa.

The deal comes after Russia offered the U.S. the joint use of the station as a way to settle their differences over the U.S. plan to deploy anti-missile elements in Europe.

The suggestion was made at the recent G8 summit during President Putin's meeting with George W. Bush.

The American side was quick to react to the Russian proposal saying it had taken them by surprise.

Speaking in Tehran, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reiterated Russia's position regarding the deployment of an anti-missile base in Europe.

“We don't want to start a new arms race, that's why we make our position clear on the U.S. plans to deploy anti-missile bases in Europe. President Putin's proposal has been agreed with the president of Azerbaijan. Using the information from the radar station that's been functioning for decades is aimed at making U.S. defence plans unnecessary. The issue will be discussed by the two presidents at their meeting in July.  We don't see a threat coming from Iran and we don't understand why the U.S. is using this as an excuse to locate their anti-missile bases in Europe,” the minister stressed.

Meanwhile, Jan Tamas, the leader of the Czech anti-war movement, speaking to Russia Today about the U.S. missile defence system in Europe, has said these plans are only a pretext for the U.S to increase its influence in the region.

To read full version of RT interview with Jan Tamas please follow this link