Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov will visit Cuba

This content was published on February 17, 2022 – 16:50

Havana, February 17 (EFE). – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov is scheduled to visit Havana on Saturday to “discuss the progress of bilateral cooperation,” the Cuban Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry stated that the Russian official “will hold meetings with various Cuban authorities,” without providing further details.

For its part, the official Cuban agency “Prensa Latina” indicated that the Russian delegation includes representatives of ministries and departments in charge of various fields of trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation.

The Russian deputy prime minister began his Latin American tour in Caracas on Wednesday, then traveled to Managua and concluded his tour in Havana, according to Russian news agency TASS.

After meeting with Borissov, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed that his country is on the path of “strong military cooperation” with Russia.

For his part, Borissov called in Caracas for the two countries to raise the level of “military-technical cooperation” and “military scientific cooperation” to a new level.

These statements, without further details, came a month after Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, did not rule out Moscow’s interest in deploying military infrastructure in Cuba and Venezuela in an interview with Russian TV channel RTVI.

Borisov, who co-chairs the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental Committee for Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, met last year with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other authorities.

After Borisov’s visit, according to Russian media, the Speaker of the Russian State Duma (the lower house), Vyacheslav Volodin, is also scheduled to visit Cuba.

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Volodin will travel to Cuba on the 23rd, and to Nicaragua the next day, according to a statement from Russia’s lower house of parliament.

In January, Diaz-Canel and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke by phone amid heightened tensions with the United States over the Ukraine crisis and after Ryabkov’s controversial comments.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied on that occasion that the leaders had talked about increasing military-technical cooperation and establishing Russian bases on the island.

Cuba and Russia have strengthened their bilateral relationship in recent years to restore the close cooperation they maintained before the disappearance of the Soviet Union in 1991, by signing new economic cooperation agreements.

In 2014, Moscow ceded 90% of the island’s $35.3 billion debt it had contracted to.

Russia is one of Cuba’s ten largest trading partners, and both define their partnership as “strategic”. EFE

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