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Putin makes unplanned stopover in Nicaragua

Russian President Vladimir Putin has changed the schedule of his Latin American tour and arrived in Nicaragua for a brief working visit.

On his way from Cuba to Argentina on Saturday, the Russian leader decided to make a stopover in Managua, where he had been officially invited earlier.

At the Managua airport, he was welcomed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

'Much is yet to be done to develop our relations, especially in the area of economy, but we have good base for that," Putin said, adding that Russia and Nicaragua had long-standing good relations. "We admire out personal courage and the courage of your people," he told Ortega.

The Russian leader reminded that the year 2014 is a jubilee one for Russia and Nicaragua, which established diplomatic relations 70 years ago.

The Nicaraguan leader called Putin's visit to his country a historic event. "This is the first-ever visit by the Russian president to Nicaragua, and we are very happy to welcome you here," he said.

Ortega reassured Putin that Nicaragua supported Russia's peace efforts. "We are ready to take part in Russia's initiatives in maintaining peace in the entire planet and in its regions," he said. "Conflict settlement lies not in bombing but in reasonable approaches. The most vitak thing is to lend an ear to the will of the people."

The Russian delegation to the talks included Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian president's aide Yuri Ushakov, and CEO of Russia's oil major Rosneft, Igor Sechin.

Nicaragua's delegation included Nicaraguan president's envoy for trade-and economic and investment cooperation with Russia Laureano Ortega, Deputy Foreign Minister Valdrak Jaentschek, who is a co-chairman of the Russian-Nicaraguan intergovernmental commission on economic and research-technicalcooperation, Commander-in-Cgief of the Nicaraguan Army Julio Cesar Aviles, and President of the energy company Enatrel Salvador Mansell.

[Source: Itar Tass, Managua, 12Jul14]

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