Russian FM promises more economic & military support to Cuba during visit

World Today

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with his Cuban counterpart while visiting Havana this week.
His visit aims to expand Russian ties with the Caribbean nation, a relationship which has been growing for decades.

CGTN’s Luis Chirino reports.

Sergey Lavrov was welcomed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Wednesday at the foreign ministry building where they held official talks.

Later, during a joint press conference, Lavrov said Moscow will provide economic and military support to Cuba as the U.S. tightens its trade embargo.

“We will continue to defend the right of the Cuban people to choose their own future, and the ways to develop their country, just as any other people do,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Lavrov and former Cuban President Raul Castro attended the unveiling of the 15-meters high ‘La Republica’ statue which was covered in gold leaf and restored with Russian support.

High on the agenda is following up on the accords signed by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel during his 2018 visit to Moscow.

Russia is a key partner for Cuba in areas such as the railroad, agriculture, energy and metal, and consumer goods. A recently imported fleet of new Russian taxi vans helps move thousands of travelers in the capital, Havana.

A symbol of the Kremlin’s military support was visible as the Russian cruise-missile frigate, Admiral Gorshkov visited Havana just last.

For some, Lavrov’s visit recalled the historic ties between the two Cold War allies. You don’t have to look far to see reminders of those days, like the iconic Russian embassy building and the old Soviet flag atop a private restaurant on the famous boulevard Malecon, along the city’s seafront.

During the press conference, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla announced an upcoming visit by the Russian prime minister.

“The next visit to Havana by Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev will undoubtedly be an outstanding event, which will allow advance the accords reached with President Putin,” Rodriguez said.

After meeting with President Miguel Diaz Canel, Lavrov left for Rio de Janeiro where he will attend the foreign ministers meeting for the BRICS group of nations: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.