MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua is denying that a recently activated land-based satellite station donated by Russia has the purpose of spying on the region or the United States.

Orlando Castillo is director of Nicaragua’s state-run telecommunications company. He says the station known as Glonass aims to help tackle drug trafficking, natural disasters, global warming and other issues.

Castillo said late Wednesday that “it is not for spying on anyone.”

The station came online April 7 and is located south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Ties between Russia and Nicaragua have concerned some in the United States, especially on military cooperation. Last year Nicaragua received 50 T-72 tanks from Moscow as part of a process of modernizing its armed forces.

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