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Radar offer for US missile system still on: Russia

by Staff Writers
Baku (AFP) March 12, 2009
Russia's offer of a Soviet-era radar station in Azerbaijan as an alternative to US missile defence sites in Eastern Europe remains on the table, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"The offer remains on the table. If American and European partners express interest we are ready to return to this question," he said during a visit to the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

Moscow proposed in 2007 that the United States use a Russian radar station near Iran, jointly with Russia, as a substitute for sites planned in NATO members Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russia has leased the Gabala station from Azerbaijan until 2012 under an agreement signed following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

US officials have inspected the station and deemed it useful, but not an alternative to the other planned sites.

New US President Barack Obama has ordered a review of planned extensions of the US missile shield into Europe, a project which has angered Russia.

The New York Times has reported that Obama suggested a trade-off to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which he would back off deployment of the missile shield, in return for Russian help with Iran's long-range missile programme.

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Outside View: Boost phase BMD -- Part 5
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Feb 2, 2009
In 1998 a U.S. presidential commission warned that the nuclear threat from "rogue states" such as North Korea was growing rapidly. In response, the Clinton administration proposed a $60 billion plan to build radars and interceptor missiles that could defend all 50 states against a limited nuclear attack.

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