On December 13, 2019, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Nicaragua Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres made an official visit to Russia at the invitation of the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The visit was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Nicaragua.
The ministers noted the consistent strengthening of Russian-Nicaraguan relations, which are developing in the spirit of strategic partnership, mutual trust, solidarity and mutual assistance. They added that it was in the best interests of the Russian and Nicaraguan people to build multifaceted ties in the fields of politics, trade, the economy, investment, the defence industry and humanitarian cooperation, as well as to consolidate bilateral interaction on the international stage.
Sergey Lavrov pointed out that the Russian Federation supports the legitimate government of the Republic of Nicaragua and considers as unacceptable any interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state whose people have proved capable of independently choosing their development path, dealing with internal matters and firmly resisting foreign pressure and illegal unilateral sanctions.
Sergey Lavrov and Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres noted with satisfaction the similarity of their countries’ positions on a wide range of global issues and spoke out for continued cooperation based the Memorandum of Intent on Matters of Consultative Cooperation between the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Nicaragua at International Multilateral Platforms through the Permanent Missions and Delegations of the Two Countries signed on May 8, 2018.
The ministers reaffirmed their countries’ readiness to promote cooperation towards a fair and stable multipolar world, sustainable governance of global development and a stronger collective approach to international matters based on international law, primarily the UN Charter.
The parties noted the destructive political role of some countries whose actions are undermining the integrity of international law and are aimed at dictating their own rules, which have not been coordinated with other countries, as if they were the only ones acceptable.
The ministers pointed out that all members of the international community should settle their differences politically and diplomatically. They reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs. The ministers also condemned the unacceptable extraterritorial application of national legislation and the adoption of unilateral sanctions outside the framework of UN Security Council resolutions.
Sergey Lavrov and Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres stressed the overriding importance of maintaining international security, including through the maintenance and strengthening of the system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They also called for the enhancement of global stability as the basis for a lasting peace resting on the principle of equal and indivisible security for all states. The parties expressed profound concern and alarm in connection with the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after one of its signatory countries withdrew from it under far-fetched pretexts. The collapse of the Treaty is fraught with undermining international security and strategic stability, an exacerbated atmosphere of tension and mistrust, greatly impaired predictability in the nuclear missile sphere and an increased potential for conflicts in many regions of the world. The parties underscored the need for joint efforts to prevent a new spiral of the nuclear arms race.
The ministers noted the importance of strengthening the current system for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the cornerstone of which is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). They underscored the need to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as soon as possible by all countries on which its real entry into force depends for the purposes of strengthening peace and security on the planet.
The foreign ministers agreed that it is necessary to continue closely coordinating work on chemical disarmament at the UN General Assembly and other international forums. They also stated the importance of supporting the efforts of the international community aimed at preserving the integral nature of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC). They noted that it was unacceptable to politicise the activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The parties called for strengthening the regime of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC), including by approving a protocol to it with an effective mechanism for monitoring compliance with the document’s provisions. They also called for jointly combating activities that run counter to the BTWC. Decisions on the BTWC must be discussed, drafted and adopted with the full-fledged involvement of all signatory states, including Russia and Nicaragua.
In the context of UN General Assembly Resolution 73/31 on No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space of December 5, 2018 and the Joint Statement by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Nicaragua of September 30, 2016, Sergey Lavrov and Denis Moncada Colindres stressed the importance of keeping outer space free from weapons and accessible for exploration and peaceful use for the benefit of all states, regardless of the extent of their scientific and economic potential. The parties expressed serious concern in connection with the realistic prospect of an arms race in outer space and of turning outer space into an arena of military confrontation. The sides once again underscored the increasing need to conclude a legally binding multilateral document that would stipulate a ban on the placement of weapons in outer space on the basis of the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on preventing the placement of weapons in outer space, the use of force or the threat of its use against space objects. The parties reaffirmed the fact that they would not be the first to place any types of weapons in outer space, and that they would exert every possible effort to prevent outer space from becoming an arena of military confrontation and to ensure safe space activities. They urged all space powers to follow their example.
The parties underscored the paramount importance of strict observance of the existing international legal agreements providing for the use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes and in the interests of developing international cooperation and mutual understanding.
The two ministers criticised political manipulations and coercive financial measures in the field of international trade and economic cooperation. They condemned certain countries’ tendency to arrogate the right to determine the feasibility and acceptable parameters of interaction between other states, as well as to manipulate the requirements of the global WMD non-proliferation regime to settle political accounts and exert pressure on countries with a different point of view.
Given the lack of alternatives to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme, both ministers reaffirmed the continued commitment of Russia and Nicaragua to its consistent implementation in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015) and Article 25 of the UN Charter. They declared their refusal to accept unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and expressed their determination to continue mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation with that country.
The parties reaffirmed their support for the international community’s consolidated efforts to fight terrorism – curbing its funding channels, countering the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology and propaganda, including on the internet, and preventing the cross-border movement of foreign terrorist fighters – with the UN playing the central coordinating role through strict fulfilment of the UN Security Council resolutions and implementation in good faith of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. They also highlighted that political motivation and double standards are unacceptable in this area.
The two ministers emphasised the willingness of Russia and Nicaragua to develop cooperation in fighting terrorism, transnational organised crime and drug trafficking.
Sergey Lavrov and Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres expressed concern that modern information and communication technologies may be used for purposes incompatible with the goals of maintaining international peace, security and stability, including for terrorist and other criminal purposes. They recognised the need to continue working on the rules of responsible behaviour of states in the information space that would enshrine the principles of the non-use of force, respect for state sovereignty, and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and provide for the use of ICT exclusively for peaceful purposes, while channelling the efforts of the international community towards preventing conflicts in the information environment and stopping expansion of the digital divide.
The parties reaffirmed the interests of their states in enhancing cooperation in environmental protection and boosting resilience to climate change effects through the promotion and implementation of advanced energy technologies, as well as reducing emissions, developing renewable energy sources and expanding the use of natural gas as the most environmentally friendly type of fossil fuel.
The foreign ministers stated their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted on September 25, 2015, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sergey Lavrov and Denis Moncada Colindres reaffirmed the readiness of Russia and Nicaragua to continue their active efforts aimed at countering the politicisation of the international human rights agenda and the use of human rights as a pretext to interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign states and to adopt against them unilateral restrictive measures outside the UN Security Council resolutions. They also expressed support for countering any attempts to dilute the intergovernmental character of international universal and regional organisations’ activities, and to falsify or rewrite history in order to undermine the existing system of interstate relations and international law.
The ministers noted that any attempts to distort history and revise the results of World War II are unacceptable. Russia praised Nicaragua’s consistent support for the UN General Assembly’s draft resolution on combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The parties stated their rejection of the practice of spreading false information and provocations in the media space, including as part of campaigns aimed at discrediting sovereign states internationally and destabilising their domestic political situation.
The foreign ministers spoke in favour of a united, politically and economically stable Latin America and stressed that this is the only way for the region to become one of the pillars of the emerging multipolar world.
Sergey Lavrov and Denis Moncada Colindres underscored their complete rejection of a revival of a colonial philosophy in the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine in the modern world, as well as attempts to undermine regional integration processes by artificially escalating political polarisation and encouraging actions aimed at an unconstitutional removal of ideological opponents from power, first of all in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
The ministers reaffirmed the commitment of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Nicaragua to the peaceful settlement of the political crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela by the Venezuelan people based on an inclusive national dialogue, in strict compliance with the constitution, without any destructive, let alone military, foreign interference. They spoke out in favour of the immediate lifting of illegal unilateral sanctions and isolationist measures, which undermine the foundations of the progressive socioeconomic development of that country.
The ministers spoke in favour of continuing joint efforts to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the integration associations of the Caribbean and Latin America region, first of all the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Central American Integration System (SICA). The sides expressed their appreciation for the decision made by the SICA Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in December 2018 to grant observer status to Russia as per Russia’s application filed in 2015.
The ministers discussed bilateral cooperation and expressed their satisfaction with the successful implementation of joint projects in healthcare, space exploration, the training and advanced training of personnel, and emergency relief.
The parties recognised the need to continue their efforts to make use of the considerable potential for strengthening bilateral cooperation in trade and the economy. They reaffirmed mutual interest in maintaining balanced commercial ties by expanding and diversifying trade, primarily trade in value-added and high-tech products.
As for the best possible use of opportunities for promoting bilateral trade and encouraging mutual investment, the ministers noted the special importance of regular meetings of the Intergovernmental Russian-Nicaraguan Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which held its fifth meeting in Managua in April 2019. They also agreed to work towards the implementation of the commission’s decisions.
The foreign ministers reaffirmed their countries’ resolve to expand the legal framework of their bilateral partnership. They pointed out the importance of completing without delay the coordination of bilateral documents in the fields of law enforcement, customs, education, defence production, healthcare and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres thanked Sergey Lavrov for the warm welcome during his visit to Moscow and invited the Russian Foreign Minister to make a reciprocal visit to Nicaragua. Sergey Lavrov accepted the invitation with gratitude. The timeframe for his visit will be coordinated between the foreign ministries.