Russian ships in Caribbean ‘no direct threat’ but Guyana remains vigilant – Jagdeo

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Russian warships are headed to the Caribbean this month and though concerns have been raised about the close relationship between Russia and Venezuela, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said the ships pose no direct threat to Guyana.

“The view shared by some of our partners is that it’s not something that we should worry about, that it doesn’t represent a direct threat to Guyana or Guyana’s interest.

“Nevertheless, we are vigilant and we are keeping this issue firmly on our policy radar,” Jagdeo told reporters on Thursday at a press conference held at the Office of the President in Georgetown.

The ships, Reuters reported, will be conducting naval exercises in countries that are Russian allies; those allies include Cuba and Venezuela.

Jagdeo also said President Dr. Irfaan Ali has been engaging partners in the region on the matter.

The issue is on Guyana’s radar given Venezuela’s aggressions towards Guyana over the English-speaking country’s Essequibo region that is being claimed by the Spanish-speaking nation.

Last month, Jagdeo said the Government of Guyana informed the relevant authorities of continued aggressions by Venezuela, including the buildup of troops at the shared border.

Guyana and Venezuela signed the Argyle Declaration in December 2023 and that agreement stated, inter alia, that they will not threaten or use force against one another. The Presidents of both countries have also engaged each other, hoping to advance bilateral relations outside of the substantive border controversy.

The border controversy case is before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Guyana hopes for a full, final and binding judgement that the border between the two states was settled after the 1899 Arbitral Award and a reaffirmation that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana.

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