Russian-Cuban partnership gaining momentum

The first visit of the new Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel to Russia shows that the level of strategic relations between the two countries, and especially its trade and economic cooperation, will continue to strengthen, RISS expert Dmitry Burykh pointed out. "Against the background of tumultuous relationship between Havana and Washington, we continue to actively cooperate with Cuban representatives. Russia feels Cuba's support on the most sensitive issues, including the Ukrainian crisis or the US sanctions pressure," he said.

One of the key points of cooperation between our countries has traditionally been military-technical cooperation, the political scientist recalled. "Cuban troops hold leading positions in Latin America. The Cuban armed forces use Russian weapons. Most of their equipment was supplied by the USSR, but now it requires updating, and this may be a very good foundation for further cooperation," he said.

As for trade and economic cooperation between Moscow and Havana, the level of interaction that we have achieved during the Soviet times is not so high yet, the analyst considers. "A sharp break in relations between the two partners in the early 90-ies on the part of the Russian Federation has affected our trade turnover. Now trade is gradually recovering: last year, mutual trade turnover between the two countries increased by 57 percent. We are starting to discuss such serious projects as the restoration of Cuba's railways, rolling stock supplies, and the construction of metallurgical plants and new power plants," D.Burykh said.

The foundations that were laid during the Soviet era and are now being developed by the Russian leadership should get even more positive growth, the analyst believes. "The agreement on writing off the debts of Cuba under the terms of new contracts with Russian producers and exporters will help Russia to become the most important trade partner of Cuba," he concluded.

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