16:34 GMT +322 October 2019
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    The Angolan crew driving a T-72B tank during the Tank Biathlon 2014 world championship. The competition took place at the training ground of the 2nd Guard Motorized Rifle Taman Division in the village of Alabino

    Costa Rica Fears Nicaragua Tank Deal With Russia to Militarize Region

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    Costa Rica is concerned that a reported delivery of Russian tanks to its neighbor Nicaragua could militarize Central America, Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said Wednesday.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — The Moscow-based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade said Monday that Russia was preparing to ship some 20 modernized T-72B1 tanks to Nicaragua under their last year’s deal for 50 tanks.

    "It is a matter of concern not because of a threat to Costa Rica…but because one country in the Central American region starts an arms race," Gonzalez said, as quoted by La Prensa newspaper.

    The foreign minister said the region needed more investment in healthcare, technology and infrastructure, rather than in military hardware.

    Nicaragua's ambassador to Russia, Juan Ernesto Vasquez Araya, first mentioned the prospective deal last August when he said Nicaragua was interested in buying T-72s, in addition to Russia-made T-55 tanks already in its service.

    The T-72 was developed in the former Soviet Union and is still widely used around the world.

    Tags:
    T-72B1, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Russia
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