Cuban foreign minister to visit Russia

November 6th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 6 (RIA Novosti) Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque will pay an official visit to Russia Nov 8-12 to discuss bilateral cooperation, a Russian diplomat said Thursday. “Russia has always supported the normalization of the situation around Cuba and its full reintegration into regional and global processes,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

The upcoming talks between Roque and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov will focus on comparing approaches to urgent global problems and challenges.

“Cuba is traditionally a friendly state to Russia, and one of its priority partners in the Latin American region,” the spokesman said.

According to Nesterenko, Moscow and Havana are interested in developing effective bilateral cooperation in fighting drug trafficking, contraband weapons, and organized crime.

In terms of bilateral economic ties, the Russian diplomat stressed the importance of diversifying trade and seeking new forms of cooperation in energy and transportation.

The Russian government announced Thursday it had approved a state loan to Cuba of up to $335 million to buy Russian goods and services.

In 2007, trade between Russia and Cuba totalled about $300 million.

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