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RIA Novosti

Russia

Russia, Cuba set to boost ties

22:07 01/08/2008
MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Cuba are to make efforts to boost bilateral cooperation in all spheres, the Russian Security Council said on Friday.

Council chief Nikolai Patrushev and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin visited Cuba on July 30-31, in a trip focusing on projects to revive economic ties between the former Cold War allies, including Russian companies' participation in developing oil fields in the Latin American state.

"[Cuban President] Raul Castro, Patrushev and Sechin said at a meeting that their countries' were set to make consistent efforts to restore longtime ties in all spheres of cooperation and to expand and strengthen them," the Security Council said in a statement.

Sechin earlier cited oil production, tourism, healthcare, nickel production, telecommunications and nanotechnology as the most promising spheres for cooperation between the two countries.

Russia issued a $355 million loan for the purchase of vehicles and the financing of energy infrastructure in Cuba in 2006, reviving ties that had been weakened by the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Havana also committed itself to buying three Il-96-300 planes and three Tu-204 passenger medium-haul aircraft.

The visit of Patrushev and Sechin came after media reports said Russia could place an orbital ballistic missile system in Cuba in response to U.S. missile defense plans for Central Europe.

In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to the brink of war when Soviet missiles were stationed in Cuba.

The crisis was resolved after 12 days when the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, backed down and ordered the missiles removed.

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RIA NovostiRussia, Cuba set to boost ties

22:07 01/08/2008 Russia and Cuba are to make efforts to boost bilateral cooperation in all spheres, the Russian Security Council said on Friday. >>

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