Russian state television assured that Daniel Ortega’s regime invited the Kremlin forces to enter the Central American country “for humanitarian purposes.”
“The most unpleasant icing on the democratic cake for the United States was the sensational announcement by Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua. It allowed the entry of Russian troops, ships and planes into Nicaragua. Of course, only for humanitarian purposes, Russian troops can enter Nicaragua in the second part of 2022,” said state television presenter Olga Skabeeva.
“If American missile systems can almost reach Moscow from Ukrainian territory, it’s time for Russia to deploy something powerful closer to American cities,” the journalist added.
The Ortega regime pointed out that the exchange between the military forces will be of “mutual benefit in case of emergency situations” between the nations.
According to the Nicaraguan press, the entry of the Russian forces was previously planned and coordinated with the Nicaraguan Army.
On March 31, Kerri Hannan, a US State Department official, warned that Russia is threatening to export the conflict in Ukraine to Latin America through military cooperation with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
“Commitment to democracy in the Hemisphere has never seemed more urgent, as Russia tramples on Ukraine’s democracy and threatens to export the Ukrainian crisis to the Americas, expanding its military cooperation with Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” Hannan said at a hearing at the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
Russian presence in Nicaragua
From the air, any tourist who arrives in Nicaragua will see the Nejapa Lagoon, a majestic crater formation on the shore of Managua. There are some huge satellite dishes among the foliage and a building painted in blue, red and white (colors of the Russian flag).
This is the Russian Glonass ground station, inaugurated with little pomp on April 6, 2017, at an event attended by around twenty guests and chaired by Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, and Igor Komarov. , general director of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
Since its announcement, the station has been shrouded in controversy, fueled by the mystery and secrecy with which its operations are handled. Officially it is known that it is the only station of its kind in Central America, it is fed by 24 Russian satellites, and it would serve to control the ships that operate in the country, help fight drug trafficking, prevent natural disasters and monitor climate change. Unofficially, independent experts claim that it is a center of espionage.
“Russia maintains a disturbing attitude in Nicaragua and could affect the stability of the region,” said Admiral Kurt Tidd, when he was head of the United States Southern Command.
Glonass is just a part of the Russian presence in Nicaragua, which has regained prominence since Daniel Ortega returned to power in 2007. Russia reactivated its relationship with the Central American country with donations of wheat, Lada brand taxi vehicles, buses for urban transport , combine harvesters, tractors, a vaccine manufacturing plant, and an anti-narcotics police training center. However, as of 2016, Russian cooperation takes a marked military direction: 50 T72-B1 war tanks, four patrol boats, two 1241.8 Molnia rocket boats, and Yak-130 combat and training aircraft arrived in the country.
The rapprochement with Russia has also been political and personal. Members of the Ortega Murillo family frequently travel to Russia, on government delegations, and Nicaragua is one of the seven countries in the world that recognizes the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two regions of Georgia that declared themselves independent under the patronage of the regime. of Vladimir Putin.
Nicaragua backed Putin when he took Crimea from Ukraine, and was one of eight countries to open a consulate in the Russian-held region. Ortega was one of the first heads of state to support the Russian military presence on Ukrainian territory.
“What President Putin has done is recognize those governments, despite the aggressiveness of the Ukrainian army, they have not been able to defeat him and logically this brings military support so that these governments have security,” he said on February 21 in relation to the shipment. of troops to the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.