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Nicaragua lawmakers give fast track OK to Russian satellite ground station sought by Ortega


lawmakers

MANAGUA, Nicaragua _ Nicaragua’s parliament on Wednesday authorized the establishment of a Russian satellite ground station in the Central American nation.

Officials say the base will permit the operation of a system similar to GPS for peaceful uses, such as mitigating natural disasters.

Opposition legislators object that the measure, which originated as an urgent presidential decree sent to parliament this week, was fast-tracked through without proper time for study.

The lawmaking body is dominated by President Daniel Ortega’s ruling party.

Nicaragua and Russia signed an agreement in 2012 to co-operate on space exploration and activity including ground installations for GLONASS, a satellite navigation system designed to be an equivalent of the United States’ GPS.

Co-operation between Managua and Moscow has increased over the last decade with the return to power of Ortega, who cultivated close ties to the Soviet Union as president in the 1980s.

Nicaragua’s military has said it is negotiating the purchase of Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets as well as patrol boats to guard the coasts. The Central American nation has also acquired Russian buses, taxis and tractors.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Nicaragua last year.

THE ASSOICATED PRESS

PHOTO CREDIT : www.i0.wp.com

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