Photo: Nicaraguan congress
Nicaragua’s congress authorized Tuesday the entry of U.S. and Russian military units for anti-drug operations in the nation’s territorial waters, which were expanded a year ago by a decision of the International Court of Justice.
Drug interdiction efforts with the U.S. military will be carried out starting Jan. 1 and will continue until June 2014.
The joint patrol of the Nicaraguan and United States naval forces will be “particularly within the maritime spaces specified” by the ICJ in its November 2012 decision.
With regard to the Russian armed forces, the Nicaraguan congress authorized the entry of army, navy and airforce units for training and an exchange of experiences during the first half of next year.
Operations will also be carried out “in the maritime spaces specified” by the ICJ in Caribbean and Pacific waters.
The ICJ ruling defined the maritime borders of Nicaragua and Colombia in the Caribbean, leaving under Colombian sovereignty seven cays in the San Andres archipelago, whose largest islands had already been conceded to Bogota in 2007.
Nicaragua was awarded a strip of sea in that area that Colombia estimates at some 75,000 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) and the Central American nation calculates at more than 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles).
Bogota has not concealed its unhappiness with the ICJ’s decision to give Nicaragua control of waters around the San Andres archipelago.