WORLD Russia and Cuba tighten links amid U.S. sanctions

WORLD

Russia and Cuba tighten links amid U.S. sanctions

CGTN

23:12, October 05, 2019

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrapped up a two-day official visit to Cuba this week aimed at deepening bilateral ties between what he said are "loyal friends and reliable partners." 

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hold official talks.(Photos: CGTN)

The Caribbean island nation is seeking Moscow's political and economic support.

The Russian prime minister opened his agenda in Havana by laying a floral wreath at the monument of Cuba's National Hero Jose Marti. Later, Medvedev was officially welcomed by President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the Palace of the Revolution.

The two leaders presided over the signing of important bilateral agreements in sectors such as energy, trade and finances.

"The signing of eight important accords reveals our countries' will to reinforce the legal framework establishing our bilateral relations and add to some recent agreements reached by the two governments," said Diaz-Canel.

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev preside over signing of bilateral accords between Russia and Cuba. 

The Russian premier held official talks with the Cuban president and also met with former President Raul Castro, head of the Cuban Communist Party, and with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

Medvedev's visit comes at a time when Cuba is facing economic challenges brought on by the tightening of the decades long U.S. trade embargo.

"Not everyone likes to see our even-handed dialogue. Over the past months, the United States has significantly strengthened its economic blockade of Cuba in an effort to create a toxic atmosphere against all kinds of cooperation with Cuba, to scare investors away and to impose a sort of oil blockade on the island," the Russian Prime Minister noted as he addressed reporters covering his visit.

In recognition of his contribution to Russian society, the University of Havana granted Medvedev an honorary degree in political science, shortly before he visited a joint Russian-Cuban oil drilling project on the northern Cuban coast.

Prime Minister Medvedev's visit followed a series of high-level meetings between the two countries including a trip to Moscow by President Miguel Diaz-Canel in 2018 and a visit here by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last July to follow up on the implementation of bilateral accords in key areas.

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