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    Russian Foreign Minister in Cuba: expand relations


    Since the war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia no longer has many friends. Now they want to expand economic relations with the ailing island state of Cuba.

    At the start of his trip to Latin America in Cuba, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated his intention to establish closer economic ties with the economically struggling island nation. Lavrov emphasized in Havana that new incentives had recently been created for Russian companies to invest in Cuba. There he met with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez.

    As the trip continues, the Russian chief diplomat will meet with President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Lavrov then wants to take part in a meeting of the G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Russia is an important partner for Cuba

    Russia is an important political and economic partner for Cuba, which is ruled by the Communist Party and was previously heavily dependent on the Soviet Union economically. Last May, delegations from the two countries in Havana discussed a number of measures to promote Russian investment, including the opening of Russian bank branches in Cuba, according to Russia. According to the information, the bilateral trading volume increased ninefold in the first four months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.

    Lavrov told representatives of the state media of both countries that this year Russia has already granted Cuba two loans to supply oil, petroleum products and food. Fuel, food and medicine are in short supply in the Caribbean one-party state. Both Cuba and Russia are subject to US sanctions.

    In addition to Cuba and Nicaragua, Venezuela is also one of the authoritarian, socialist-oriented allies of the Russian government in Latin America. It was only in April last year that Lavrov visited all three countries and Brazil. Brazil currently holds the annual rotating chairmanship of the G20 round of leading economic powers.

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