Ukraine imposes sanctions on four officials of the Ortega regime

Ukraine imposed sanctions on four Nicaraguans and four Russians for the opening of an honorary consulate of Nicaragua in the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014. The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Alexei Danílov, announced this decision at a press conference after a meeting of this body, according to the Ukrainian agency UNIAN.

They are eight people, four citizens of Nicaragua and four of the Russian Federationhe explained. Last February, the Verkhovna Rada or Parliament of Ukraine approved the sanctions against Nicaragua, which decided in the summer of 2019 to open an honorary consulate in Crimea. However, so far the sanctions had not been implemented.

Last November, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine protested the inauguration of the honorary consulate in the Ukrainian peninsula and announced the start of the process to apply sanctions, considering the step taken by Managua to openly unfriendly towards the former Soviet republic. According to that ministry, Nicaragua “violated Ukrainian law and international law.”

To the position, the Daniel Ortega regime appointed the retired Russian military officer, Oleg Belaventsev, who according to an investigation published in 2015 was involved in a corruption scandal over a million-dollar donation from the Vladimir Putin Administration to the Ortega regime.

Oleg Belaventsev

In November 2015, CONFIDENTIAL revealed that a millionaire Russian donation, In order to strengthen the system for the prevention and control of natural disasters, it was involved in a corruption scandal in Moscow.

A journalistic investigation of the consortium Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) showed that the former director of the Moscow Emergency Ministry benefited companies he owned.

The Russian official was Belaventsev, a henchman of President Vladimir Putin. Belaventsev has held important positions in the orbit of the Kremlin. In March 2014 he became Putin’s special envoy in the Crimea region. But before that, he held the leadership of the Emergency Ministry, known internationally as Emercom, for almost ten years.

Belaventsev visited Nicaragua in August 2008 to formalize Emercom’s donation of 26.6 million dollars to the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention (Sinapred). In fact, he met with Daniel Ortega who thanked him for the donation.

According to the OCCRP investigation, the Nicaraguan president asked for more help and Russia promised him fire trucks and mobile hospitals that were delivered to the Nicaraguan Army.

Ukraine protest over ambassador visit

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine protested against the visit of the Nicaraguan ambassador in the Russian Federation, Alba Azucena Torres, to Crimea, because this visit was not coordinated with Ukraine. Under Ukrainian law, foreigners can come to Crimea legally only through the territory of Ukraine. This visit was considered by Kiev as an openly hostile step by Nicaragua towards Ukraine”.

“The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine resolutely protests against the illegal and non-agreed visit with Ukraine of the Nicaraguan Ambassador to Russia, Alba Azucena Torres, to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine, to deliver the credentials to the so-called Honorary Consul of Nicaragua in Russia, ”Kiev reported in a statement.

The “Honorary Consulate of Nicaragua” was the first foreign mission after the annexation of Crimea. The authorities proclaimed that Crimea and Nicaragua will cooperate in the field of education, since supposedly many Nicaraguan students study in the Crimean peninsula.

According to Sputnik, a Russian media related to the Russian Government, Beláventsev is a 69-year-old Russian Vice Admiral in retirement who served as the envoy of the Russian president “for the Federal Districts of Crimea (it was abolished in 2016 and became part of the District Federal Republic of the South) and North Caucasus ”. In addition, he cites that Beláventsev has received several decorations, “including the title of Hero of Russia, the country’s highest military badge.”

The head of the Russian republic, Sergei Aksionov, said Sputnik, declared that the appointment of Belaventsev “is the sovereign right” of Nicaragua, which he considers has “a fair and honest attitude towards Crimea.”

Mutual support between Russia and Nicaragua

Nicaragua is one of four countries along with Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela, which recognized the annexation of the Crimean peninsula to Russia.

Precisely, after the November 7 votes characterized by the lack of political competition, the kidnapping of seven opposition presidential candidates and a high level of abstentionism, the Russian Federation gave its support to this process and the continuation of Ortega and Rosario Murillo at the head of the Government.

In recent years, Nicaragua has become the object of cynical interference in its internal affairs and arbitrary sanctions. The destabilization in the country can lead to serious problems and the appearance of another source of tension in Latin Americasaid the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Maria Zajárova, on Twitter.

The official also spoke about the positions of the United States and the European Community, which spoke out ignoring this process and described it as illegitimate.

In addition to the support of the Russian Federation, only Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have recognized the voting process this Sunday and recognized the electoral victory of Ortega and Murillo.

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