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Putin says ready to share radar info with U.S.

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (Reuters) - Russia is ready to share information from a radar station it controls in Azerbaijan with the U.S. military, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“Qabala completely covers the whole region that worries the Americans,” Putin told a news conference at the end of a G8 summit, referring to the radar station. “We are ready on-line and in real-time to hand over all information.”

Putin proposed to President George W. Bush on Thursday that Washington use the Russian-controlled Qabala radar instead of deploying parts of a missile shield in central Europe meant to ward of the threat of attack from “rogue” states like Iran.

The offer appeared to catch U.S. officials off-guard and they have given no indications they will revise their plans to put parts of the shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Moscow sees the U.S. plans as a threat to their security and unacceptable encroachment on its former sphere of influence.

“We hope there will be no unilateral actions until completion of negotiations,” Putin said, referring to the proposed talks with Washington on the Azerbaijan solution.

“We will not be late because Iran does not have these rockets. If Iran starts working on them we will know about it in good time and if we do not we will see the first test-launch,” Putin said.

“I think our proposal is completely logical, well-founded and in the spirit of partnership.”

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