Nicaragua’s Ortega defends military ties with Russia
MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua’s president Saturday defended his country’s right to strengthen its military with Russian help, seemingly backtracking on statements earlier in the week shrugging off suggestions of increased cooperation.
Daniel Ortega said Nicaragua was “committed to further strengthening and modernizing the army” with the help of any country willing to provide aid, especially in respect to the Central American nation’s fight against drug trafficking.
In remarks during a military exercise closed to press but broadcast on a local channel, Ortega said Russia has in recent years granted “extraordinary” and “sustained” cooperation “without putting a single condition.”
He did not give details of an agreement between Nicaragua and Russia, but on March 27, Russia’s ambassador in Managua confirmed Moscow is interested in building a military resupply base in Nicaragua.
Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia is weighing increasing its military presence in countries including Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela — particularly bases to refuel Russian warplanes far from home.
Nicaragua Army Chief General Julio Áviles had said this was just “speculation.”
Russia has faced international condemnation over its actions in Crimea, which has switched to Moscow from Ukraine after pro-Russian forces seized the peninsula.
You may be interested
With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalieAFP - December 11, 2017
Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…
Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find itKatherine Stanley - December 11, 2017
In the weeks since the relaunch of The Tico Times on Sept. 1, we’ve been hard at work to reconnect…
Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in QueposElizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017
The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…