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Russia to Help Nicaragua Fix, Update Arsenal


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To the democrats; NONE of this would not have been possible with out your Cooperation.


I have to ask; Just on whos' side are you on???????





agence france-presse

Published: 25 Sep 08:04 EDT (12:04 GMT)


MANAGUA - Russia will help Nicaragua repair or update its aging military arsenal, most of which was furnished by the former Soviet Union in the 1980s, Moscow's envoy to Managua said.


"We do not want to increase Nicaragua's [military] potential," Ambassador Igor Kondrashev said Sept. 24 on a private television broadcast. "We merely want to provide maintenance and spares to equipment that already exists."


Nicaragua's military equipment dates back to the country's Sandinista guerillas and the subsequent revolutionary government in 1979.


Ninety percent of the arsenal came from the USSR, with much of it outdated due to a lack of investment in equipment makeovers, according to Nicaragua military sources.


"We will help Nicaragua," Kondrashev said, "but there is no question whatsoever of any political change intended by the military upgrade" of the country led again by President Daniel Ortega, the former Soviet-backed Sandinista revolutionary.


In the 1980s, Nicaragua acquired thousands of surface-to-air missiles from the USSR, remnants of the civil war between Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front and U.S.-backed Contra rebels in the 1980s.


Washington has long pressured Managua to destroy the shoulder-fired SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles. The U.S. offered Nicaragua health care aid in exchange for the missiles' destruction as part of a global effort to eliminate weapons that could fall into the hands of terrorists.


Nicaragua had already destroyed about half of its original stockpile of 2,000 missiles.


After a 16-year interruption, the Central American nation re-established diplomatic ties with Russia in 2007 with the re-election of Ortega, who served as Nicaragua's president from 1985 to 1990.


Their ties appeared to strengthen markedly in early September, when Ortega formally recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, supporting Russia's stance on the breakaway Georgian regions.

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