The Costa Rica News (TCRN)- The Nicaraguan authorities have expressed their intention to renew and modernize its Navy in order to protect the maritime territory granted by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from La Haya, which defined the limits between the Caribbean and Colombia, despite suspicions of Bogota and Costa Rica.Nicaragua believes that it is necessary to count with eight new patrols, so they have visited, among others, shipyards from Russia -an old ally that during the first Sandinista regime (1979-1990) provided the Nicaraguan armed forces with Soviet weaponry.

“We are trying to renew our fleet there,” said the army chief of Nicaragua, General Julio Cesar Aviles. He also assured that they are in talks, visiting shipyards, analyzing possibilities, costs, as well as tactical and technical means that will be acquired, in order to “remain in those seas for a longer time” in the Caribbean.

He explained that they plan to modernize its navy to ensure the safety of fishing vessels from Nicaragua and other countries, which navigate in those waters with the authorization of the Nicaraguan government. In addition, Aviles said that they need to modernize the Navy because it is in charge of controlling closures as well as supporting scientific exploration missions to Seaflower Biosphere Reserve in the Caribbean.

Nicaragua’s announcement was viewed with suspicion and concern by Colombia and Costa Rica. A Costa Rican Foreign Ministry adviser, Sergio Ugalde, said that his country was concerned about Nicaragua´s initiative of buying Russian patrols because it would break the military balance in Central America, according to local media. The official stated that Nicaragua does not need big ships, or wars, to patrol its sea.

In turn, General Aviles asked the government of Costa Rica “to mind their own business”.

“They (Costa Rica) should keep an eye on their internal affairs and let us, Nicaraguans, from a sovereign point of view, determine what to do,” Aviles said at a public event.

The Nicaraguan Navy has three coastguard ships in the Caribbean, as well as speed boats and rescue vessels, but the authorities have not specified their number. EFE

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica

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