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  • Russia and Cuba have a long history of cooperation. Here, Dmitry Medvedev meets late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Cuba in 2008.

    Russia and Cuba have a long history of cooperation. Here, Dmitry Medvedev meets late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Cuba in 2008. | Photo: Reuters/File photo

Published 1 October 2019

The two nations are expected to sign a series of intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements, as well as business contracts, the Russian government said.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is set to visit Cuba later in the week to meet President Miguel Diaz-Canel and discuss cooperation between the two countries, his government announced Monday.

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Medvedev and Diaz-Canel are expected to discuss a wide range of topics for cooperation in the fields of business, investment, energy, transport, culture and humanitarian issues, among others.

In recent years, Cuba and Russia have given a boost to their bilateral relationship in a bid to reestablish the close cooperation they had before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, with the signing of new economic cooperation agreements.

Last year, the president of Cuba received the commitment of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, when it comes to the modernization and reform of the island’s economy.

Russia is one of Cuba’s top 10 trading partners, which defines its association with that country as “strategic.”

On September 20, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said both countries would sign a strategic agreement on economic and commercial cooperation.

Both parties will develop the plan taking into account Havana’s priorities within the framework of Cuba’s economic and social development project for 2030, and “will be signed in the near future.”

Vice president of Cuba’s Council of Ministers, Ricardo Cabrisas, was satisfied with the “effective participation of Russia” in the country’s development plan of his country.

He also highlighted the “excellent” relations and “sustained progress” in their links on commercial and financial cooperation.

Russia and Cuba hope to boost trade between the two countries, which last year increased by 34 percent, according to Borisov.

Havana and Moscow will also discuss relations in the transport, agriculture and energy sectors during the meeting of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental commission.

The two governments signed a roadmap for the effective participation of Russian energy companies in a development program for Cuba’s fuel and energy sector, as well as the island’s energy security.

On September 5, the two countries signed a protocol in Havana that will allow Moscow to assist its Caribbean partner with transport projects, from the renewal of its rail network which is already in progress to port infrastructure.

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