Cuban President Raul Castro Meets Separately with Russian President and Prime Minister
Moscow, July 11 (RHC) -- Visiting Cuban President Raul Castro held separate meetings on Wednesday with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, and the country’s Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.
The Cuban head of state arrived in the Russian capital on Tuesday, after touring also long-time friends China and Vietnam.
According to news reports from Moscow, Raul and Putin talked about economic and investment cooperation. The two leaders also discussed current efforts to boost and diversify bilateral trade, as well as key joint projects in the energy, transport and telecommunications sectors.
A press release issued by the Kremlin reported that the official talks between Raul and Putin give continuity to a series of bilateral top level contacts and was the third for both leaders. Earlier meetings were held in Havana in December 2000 and in Moscow in February 2009.
Cuban President Raul Castro met, also on Wednesday, with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, at the Gorki countryside residence. Medvedev and Raul discussed issues that they had raised at their previous meetings. The Russian prime minister voiced his country’s interest in further strengthening bilateral ties with Havana. Medvedev said: “We should take advantage of our countries’ huge potential to develop joint economic and human development projects. There are many reasons for further synchronizing our positions on bilateral and international relations.”
The Russian prime minister said it is important that the two governments maintain permanent political consultation on bilateral and international issues.
In addition, Medvedev invited President Raul to visit the Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi. The Cuban leader accepted the invitation and thanked Russian authorities for the gesture.
President Raul said this visit gives continuity to the bilateral dialogue begun during Medvedev’s presidency. Raul said: “I’m doing all I can so that relations between our two peoples are the best possible in both good and bad times.”
This is Raul Castro's second trip to Moscow since becoming president in 2008.