Gabala radar station is not worth a brass farthing?01.08.2012 | 15:55
In late 2012, the lease term of Gabala radar station expires. Azerbaijan insists on inherently disadvantageous for Russia conditions of the contract extension. Previously Moscow paid Baku $ 7.5 million per year, but now Baku demands $ 300 million. At the same time, the lease term reduces from 49 to 7 years. Russian Defense Ministry, in order to optimize costs, has decided to close the Russian sector of the school and hospital, sending families of the officers away from Azerbaijan. The officers' wives took it as a disaster and began to appeal to all authorities. One of the recipients was the military commentator of "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" Viktor Litovkin. GTimes reporter spoke with him on the problems of the Gabala radar station.
- Viktor Nikolayevich, how have you learned about the problems of the wives of the officers at the Gabala radar station? What have you learned?
- They have contacted me personally and expressed their justifiable fears. For example, the warrant officer of Russian armed forces Olesya Katkova, who serves at the Daryal together with her husband, major, is in a maternity leave to care for a baby. In addition to baby-infant, they have two children. One is five years, the other is ten. After the the Russian military leave the Daryal, this family has no place to go. She has nowhere to go - her parents have no place to live. It is not clear where rent an apartment. It is not clear where to place a children, since the parents have no Russian registration. The older boy needs to go to school on September 1. No one in the family knows where and how he will learn. Or Natalia Kasymov. This year she was notified that she should take her son, a pupil, from school and Azerbaijan. It is unclear where.
Her husband, Lieutenant Colonel of Russian armed forces Polad Kasymov, was arrested by the authorities of Azerbaijan in April this year. A Russian officer, a native of Baku was sentenced to eight years in prison on trumped-up charges of espionage. Lieutenant Colonel Kasymov was the victim of a dirty political game, and his family - a hostage of the circumstances. Where should the son of Lieutenant Colonel go? In Baku, the home of his father, it's unlikely that someone is waiting him, and in Novosibirsk, the home of his mother, there will be no supervision for him.
- It's similar to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Germany and former republics of the Baltic States. Many officers, referring to this, say that the Russian Defense Ministry has betrayed them. What's the situation in this case?
- There is no betrayal on the part of the Russian Defense Ministry in this case. There are inter-state relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. This year Azerbaijan puts certain conditions to Russia: increase of rents from $ 7.5 million per year to $ 300 million. Russia's lease of Gabala radar station expires this year. Moscow and Baku are still unable to agree on further terms of the leases. Under the service regulations, officers from the Gabala radar station are subjected to the Supreme commander-in-chief and the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation. There are no clear orders from these institutions. What kind of betrayal can we talk about? Russia is now looking for a way out of the negotiating impasse.
- Do the military personnel and their families want to leave the Gabala garrison and move to Russia?
- Of course, the military does not want to leave the Gabala radar. It's wonderful place with ecologically clean air and beautiful nature. Monetary and material support of the personnel of the radar is very good, by Russian standards. The main thing - there is a feeling of certainty in the future. There are also disadvantages. For example, children of the officers are studying in the Russian section of the Azerbaijan school, where officers' wives are working. Russian Ministry of education does not recognize matriculation certificate, issued by this school, and it is impossible to enter a Russian higher educational institution with this certificate. Inpatient medical care for radar personnel is being provided by military field hospital, where Azerbaijani standards are being applied to the treatment. Due to the fact that the staff of the Russian hospital treated by Azerbaijani standards, the military doctors from the Gabala can have difficulties with the Russian health care system. The officers' families have the problems of a personal nature, but they can cope and adapt to them. When measured life of the military garrison changes with the dramatic speed, the life of each soldier breaks through the knee. Any military or member of the family of a military knows it.
- How do you think, what is the real cause of the negotiating impasse around the Gabala radar?