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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

General Urges U.S. On Radar

General Yury Baluyevsky said Tuesday that the United States was "awed and shocked" by President Vladimir Putin's proposal to jointly use the Gabala radar site in Azerbaijan, and he expressed hope that consultations on the idea would start next month.

Baluyevsky, head of the General Staff, said he hoped the United States would state its official position on the proposal during Putin's meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in Maine in early July, "after which consultations can begin," RIA-Novosti reported.

Putin last week suggested that rather than building a missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland, the United States should use the Gabala early warning radar and put interceptors in Turkey, Iraq or on sea platforms to defend against missiles that could be launched from Iran.

In an apparent reference to to the United States' "shock and awe" strikes on Iraq in 2003, Baluyevsky said Tuesday that U.S. officials were "awed and shocked" by Putin's proposal.

Baluyevsky claimed that the plan was solid enough "to nullify" the need for radar in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland.

Russia leases the Gabala radar site from Azerbaijan.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that it was unclear whether Azerbaijan could be an effective host for the tracking station but said Putin's offer was a positive sign -- even if it is ultimately rejected.

"One does not choose sites for missile defense out of the blue," Rice said, The Associated Press reported.

"It's geometry and geography as to how you intercept a missile."