Countries‎ > ‎Azerbaijan‎ > ‎01.08.2012‎ > ‎

Azerbaijan to host seven radar stations to combat smuggling

Seven radar stations will be sited along Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea coast, the U.S. Department of State said in its country report on terrorism for 2011.
According to the report, Azerbaijan actively opposed terrorist organizations seeking to move people, money, and material through the Caucasus, the report on the U.S. Department of State's website says.

"Government law enforcement bodies pursued suspected terrorist groups and facilitators operating in Azerbaijan and implemented measures to strengthen border security and maritime domain awareness. The Government of Azerbaijan completed the modernization of its Central Reference Laboratory, a state-of-the-art biosafety facility that will make joint research on potential bioterrorism threats possible," the report says.

The report also says that through the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Program, the Azerbaijan government assumed responsibility for the sustainment of seven radar stations along the Caspian coast used by the Navy, Coast Guard, and State Border Service to conduct maritime surveillance and detect smuggling threats.

"On border security, the State Border Service installed new portal monitors during its upgrade at the Ganja international airport, a project assisted by the Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense Program (SLD). Azerbaijan also launched the National Communication System pilot project, a new SLD initiative to centralize information received from portal monitors at various border crossings," the report says.

Azerbaijan is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. The Government of Azerbaijan has demonstrated an increasing level of professionalism in anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) since 2009, when it adopted AML/CTF legislation. Azerbaijan continued to work with MONEYVAL to address the full range of AML/CTF issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report.

According to the report, throughout 2011, working groups composed of representatives of Azerbaijan and the other four Caspian Sea littoral states met to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at countering terrorism as well as smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and organized crime on the Caspian. This work followed up on a November 2010 security cooperation agreement among the Caspian Sea littoral states.

The announcement about radar stations came amid the lack of progress in Russia’s talks with Azerbaijan over extending the lease of the missile defense radar station in the Azerbaijani town of Gabala.
Russia has been in talks with Azerbaijan to extend the lease of the Soviet-era radar, which it has operated under a 2002 agreement due to expire on December 24 this year.