Cuba and North Korea Congratulate Putin on His Electoral Victory With 87 Percent of the Votes

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in an archive image.

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 18 March 2024 — The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, congratulated his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on his re-election for a fifth term as president, after achieving his biggest electoral victory since he came to power this Sunday, which will allow him to remain in the Kremlin until 2030.

“Our sincere congratulations on the re-election of President Vladimir Putin. It is a reliable sign of the Russian people’s recognition of his management,” the Cuban ruler said on the social network X.

Díaz-Canel said that “links between Cuba and Russia will continue to be strengthened, in sectors identified for the well-being of our peoples.”

In the last year, the relationship between the two governments has intensified, with the exchange of visits by senior officials, including trips to Havana by the Russian Chancellor, Sergey Lavrov, the secretary of the Security Council and the deputy prime minister, Dmitry Chernyshenko.

Russia is one of Cuba’s top ten trading partners, and both governments define their association as “strategic.” In November 2022, Díaz-Canel and Putin analyzed in Moscow the development prospects for the Russian-Cuban strategic partnership in the political, economic, commercial, cultural and humanitarian spheres. Several agreements were signed, including the supply of oil, a key area for Havana.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, also sent a message of congratulations to the Russian president for his victory in the presidential elections held on Sunday, in which the authorities did not allow the participation of any strong opposition candidate.

In a brief note, the North Korean news agency KCNA said that Kim “congratulated Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on Monday on his re-election to the presidency of the Russian Federation.”

The message, the report adds, “will be transmitted to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Sin Hong-chol, ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (official name of North Korea) to the Russian Federation.”

The Russian Central Electoral Commission allowed only three candidates considered loyal to the Kremlin to take part in the presidential elections  

Kim and Putin held a summit meeting last September at the Russian cosmodrome in Vostochny. They agreed to expand cooperation in the military field and certified the recent rapprochement between the two countries.

Since then, Pyongyang has transferred thousands of containers with weapons that the Russian Army has used against Ukraine, and in return, it is believed that Moscow advised the North Korean regime on successfully launching its first spy satellite.

Both countries have also strengthened their cooperation in the areas of food, commerce, science, tourism and sports.

Alleging technical or formal defects, the Russian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) allowed only three candidates considered loyal to the Kremlin to take part in the presidential elections.

Putin, 71 years old and in power since 2000, received 87.34% of the votes, ten points more than in 2018 (76.5%), during the three days of voting in the eighth presidential election in the history of Russia since 1991, according to the scrutiny of 50% of the votes reported by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC).

The second and third candidates with the most votes were the communist Nikolai Kharitonov and the representative of the New People party, Vladislav Davankov, with just over 4% of the votes each. The last contender was the ultra-nationalist Leonid Slutski, who received approximately 3% of the votes.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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