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Russia's Provision of Battle Tanks to Nicaragua ‘Disquieting’ - US Commander

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T-72B3 tank - Sputnik International
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The Russians are engaging in some disquieting behavior in Central America in one instance providing battle tanks to Nicaragua, US Southern Command chief Admiral Kurt Tidd stated in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In April 2016 Russia delivered 20 of the 50 tanks the Nicaraguan government requested. The price for the 50 T-72B's is $80 million, nearly the yearly defense budget for the impoverished nation.

"The Russians are also engaging in some disquieting behavior, such as providing battle tanks to Nicaragua, which impacts regional stability," Tidd said. "This could cause its neighbors to divert vital resources needed to fight threat networks, and address developmental challenges, to maintain parity."

Russia and Nicaragua have improved diplomatic relations since Daniel Ortega returned to the presidency in 2007. In 2016 Russia began construction of a new embassy complex, anti drug training center and satellite facility in Nicaragua.

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