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Nicaragua allows entry of Russian troops, planes and ships

The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has authorized the deployment of Russian troops, aircraft and ships to his country for training, law enforcement or emergency response purposes.

In a decree issued this week and confirmed by Russia on Thursday, Ortega will authorize Russian troops to carry out law enforcement, “humanitarian aid, rescue and search missions in the event of an emergency or disaster. natural”.

The Nicaraguan government has also authorized the presence of small contingents of Russian troops for “the exchange of experiences and training”.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Russian media Sputnik the measure was “routine”.

“This is a routine procedure – twice a year – for the adoption of a Nicaraguan law on the temporary admission of foreign military personnel to its territory in order to develop cooperation in various fields, including humanitarian and emergency responses, the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking,” said Zakharova.

She said the law also allows troops from the United States, Mexico and other Central American countries for such purposes.

Ortega has been a staunch Russian ally since his days leading the 1979 revolution that toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza. Ortega served as president from 1985 to 1990, before being re-elected to power in 2007.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, talks to Ortega after arriving at Managua International Airport on July 11, 2014. (Cesar Perez/Handout of the Presidential House/Reuters)

Ortega’s government arrested dozens of political opposition leaders, including most potential presidential candidates, in the months before he was re-elected to a fourth consecutive term last year. His government has shut down dozens of nongovernmental groups it accuses of working on behalf of foreign interests to destabilize its government. Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have been driven into exile.

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Post expires at 12:33am on Thursday June 23rd, 2022