Nicaragua is a "transshipment point" for "restricted exports" to Russia and Belarus

Nicaragua is a “transshipment point” for “restricted exports” to Russia and Belarus

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a “joint alert” urging financial institutions “to be vigilant of efforts by individuals or entities to evade export controls” implemented against Russia and Belarus for the invasion of Ukraine.

The document warns that BIS “has identified certain common transshipment points through which restricted or controlled exports are known to pass before reaching their destinations in Russia or Belarus,” including Nicaragua.

He mentions that these points include, but are not limited to: Armenia, Brazil, China, Georgia, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.

“In some cases, controlled US articles can be legally exported to these and other jurisdictions as inputs for the production of other finished products,” the text indicates.

However, the document notes that “these products and finished goods may be prohibited from being exported to Russia or Belarus, through transshipment points.”

It admits that recent export controls and restrictions from Russia and Belarus “may lead to changes in historical transshipment patterns” and so BIS “is actively monitoring” to identify those changes.

In that sense, it indicates that “the list does not include all the possible transshipment points, but it can help to assess the risk of financial transactions related to exports.”

Nicaragua and Russia relationship

Since Vladimir Putin improvised a visit to Nicaragua in 2014, during a tour in Latin America, Moscow has taken Managua as one of its “main partners” in the region, which supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the beginning of last June, the official Russian television presenter, Olga Skabeeva, reported that Ortega authorized the entry of Russian military troops, ships and planes to Nicaragua, for the second half of 2022, and that “if missile systems Americans, they can be close to Moscow from the territory of Ukraine, it’s time for Russia to deploy something powerful closer to an American city.”

Although this time it was a routine procedure, the cooperation between the armies of Russia and Nicaragua always causes controversy. Last February, a few days before the invasion against Ukraine was triggered, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Yuri Borísov, visited Nicaragua and announced the continuity of technological cooperation agreements between the Armed Forces of his country and the Nicaraguan Army, without any more details on these.

CONFIDENCIAL published a special report on February 28, on the cooperation between the Putin regime and Ortega, in which several security experts agree that the information from the Ortega regime on this cooperation “is minimal”, while the intelligence activities of the Russian satellite base in Nejapa and the police training center located in Las Colinas

They ban products that help the invasion of Ukraine

The joint alert published by FinCEN and BIS insists that it “provides financial information to institutions with an overview of current exports and restrictions,” especially a list of “concern” products of interest, including aircraft parts, antennas, cameras, GPS systems, among others.

To do this, it lists 22 “red flags” of behaviors that help financial institutions to identify “suspicious transactions related to a possible evasion of export control.”

The document recalls that since February 24, BIS has implemented “a series of strict export controls that restrict entry to Russia, which includes access to specific technologies and other items it needs to sustain its military activity in Ukraine.”

“These controls are primarily directed at Russia’s defense, aerospace and maritime sectors. They also include other targets, such as Russia’s energy production sector, as well as luxury items used by Russian elites.

It also highlights that the measures are aligned “with the export controls implemented by 37 allies and partners of the United States.”

Effort to “degrade military capabilities” against war

The alert highlights that this measure represents “the most complete application” of trade authorities directed at a single country. They explain that the United States has also placed restrictions on Belarus “in response to its significant support for Russia’s war effort.”

“These actions are part of a coordinated international effort to apply

economic pressure on Russia and Belarus to downgrade the military capabilities that Russia uses to fight its war, and to restrict Russia’s access to items that can support the country’s defense industrial base and military and intelligence services,” it says.

They also “increase the costs for Russian and Belarusian people who support the Russian government and its invasion of Ukraine.”

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