Latvia takes over the territory of the Skrunda Radar Station

24.03.2004. 14:57

Today the Act on conveyance - acceptance of the Skrunda RS territory conveyed to the Russian Federation in temporary usage was signed in Skrunda. Thus the work that thanks to the co-ordinated co-operation of Latvia, Russia and OSCE has brought significant success is coming to an end. The end of the dismantling on October 19 was also confirmed by the OSCE inspection.

Latvia highly appreciates the work the Russian side has performed in order to precisely implement the Agreement. This is a good example of the co-operation capability of Latvia and Russia. The implementation of this agreement has demonstrated that the OSCE is an organisation able to monitor and support a bilateral agreement successfully.

"This document is the best affirmation of the great responsibility with which Russia has performed its task," the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Indulis Berzins stressed in the press conference. "By signing the Act on conveyance - acceptance of the Skrunda RS territory conveyed to the Russian Federation in temporary usage, we are confirming the quality of the accomplished work. From now on there is only a formal conclusion procedure - the exchange of notes - left," remarked the Minister.

The Agreement between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on the Legal Status of the Skrunda RS during its Temporary Operation and Dismantling was signed five years ago. "The implementation of the Agreement between Latvia and Russia has become an important example of the relations of the international community and the mutual co-operation between the two countries the result of which can satisfy all the Parties. It is an example which demonstrates that the spirit of mutual understanding can help to solve difficult and even sensitive issues," said Mr. Berzins. "I believe that this example is a important sign that on the eve of the next century we are approach the moment when each European country will be able to find the most appropriate individual security model."

In his speech the Minister of Foreign Affairs laid a special emphasis on the business-like co-operation that has developed with the military personnel involved in the management of the object, mentioning their openness and interest in solving the common problems. The Minister expressed his gratitude to the OSCE member states who have sent their observers, thus ensuring the operation of the OSCE inspections. Especially Mr. Berzins wanted to thank the Latvian, Russian and OSCE Representatives to the Joint Committee on the Skrunda Radar - Mr. Edgars Skuja, Mr. Aleksandr Nikitin and Mr. Jürgen Hübschen, as well as the governments of the USA, Germany and Sweden for their contribution in the implementation of the Agreement.

The Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Development Mr. Vents Balodis and the Head of Skrunda Town Mr. Valdis Danenbergs also participated in the ceremony of signing the Act on the acceptance of the Skrunda RS territory.

Skrunda Radar Station

The main task of the Radar Station (RS) was early warning.

History of the Skrunda RS starts in 1964 when a plot of land 9km North from Skrunda had been allotted for the needs of the Soviet Army in accordance with the decision of the LSSR Council of Ministers. In 1967 the first level of the Radar Dnepr was completed and started its operation, till 1971 it was constructed completely and the second level started functioning.

Dnepr was located in 4 buildings, each of them being 250 metres long and 17 metres high. The RS and the military town operation was ensured by two 110 kV electric drive lines.

Objects at a distance of 6000 km and at height of 3000 km could be observed from the Skrunda RS.

Since 1984 the work at building a new improved radar (coded name - Darjal) has begun. After starting its operation, capacity of this radar - 3/63 megawatts - would exceed the capacity of the old radar almost ten times (2/10 megawatts).

After restoration of independence of Latvia, issue of the Skrunda RS future became topical due to the harmful electro-magnetic radiation caused to inhabitants of the region.

The Agreement between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on the Legal status of the Skrunda Radar Station during its Temporary Operation and Dismantling, signed on April 30, 1994 envisaged termination of the RS operation on August 31, 1998. After that dismantling period followed and in October, 1999 all military personnel of the Russian army stationed in Skrunda left the territory of Latvia. Implementation of the Agreement has been performed by the Skrunda Joint Committee consisting of representatives of both contracting parties and an OSCE authorised representative. Implementation of the obligations of the agreement has been monitored by the OSCE.

According to the agreement the Russian side was responsible for dismantling of the object. Dismantling included dismantling of all premises located in the 1st and 2nd technologic position, transportation of hazardous waste and parts of equipment out of the territory of Latvia.

On October 21, 1999 by signing the Act on conveyance- acceptance of the Skrunda RS territory conveyed to Russian Federation in temporary usage between Latvia and Russia, the territory of Skrunda RS is fully taken over by Latvia.

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