EFE/14ymedio, Havana, 19 October 2023 — Kremlin business consultant Boris Titov is back in Havana, five months after his last visit. President Miguel Díaz-Canel met this Thursday with the official, who holds the position of president of the Cuba-Russia Business Council.
“It’s the will of both governments to deepen our economic and commercial relations,” Díaz-Canel wrote on his account on the social network X (formerly Twitter). The Cuban president did not offer more details of the meeting with the Russian politician and businessman, who was in Cuba last May to attend a bilateral business forum attended by more than 150 representatives of companies from Russia and Cuba.
On that occasion, they offered the Russians the right to hold land in usufruct for a period of 30 years, a concession unprecedented in the history of the revolutionary regime.
The Cubans expect capital to arrive from Moscow in the areas of transport, logistics, agriculture, sugar, tourism, construction and industry, according to the Cuban government.
In response, Havana will provide Russia with “facilities to encourage” its “presence.” Among them, according to Titov himself, is the import of tax-free products from the Eurasian country, the presence of Russian banks and financial facilities for exchange with their respective currencies (the ruble and the peso).
The Cuban president did not offer more details of the meeting with the Russian politician and businessman
So far in 2023, the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov; the president of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin; the economic adviser of the Presidency, Maksim Oreshkin, and other important political figures of Vladimir Putin’s government have traveled to the Island.
Despite their political ties, in 2022 the bilateral trade exchange was only 451 million dollars, a figure that the Russian representation hoped to improve.
A few days ago, the meeting at the Meliá Cohiba hotel of 100 professors and students from the Moscow State University Rosbiotech showed that the alliance between the two countries involved the teaching of Russian.
Similarly, last September, Russia and Cuba addressed the construction of new generating capacities for power plants on the Island, but without further details. Russia is still, in any case, one of the main fuel suppliers to Cuba, behind Venezuela and Mexico.
Relations between Havana and Moscow, which have been going at full speed since May, have advanced more cautiously since several international media reported the presence of Cuban soldiers in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Titov’s visit, however, shows that the projects are not stopping.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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