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Medvedev meets Cuban leader to invite in Sochi at Olympic Games

July 11, 2012, 15:10 UTC+3

The meeting took place at the Gorki countryside residence

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GORKI, July 11 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met Cuban leader Raul Castro on Wednesday to invite his Cuban counterpart to visit the Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi.

The meeting took place at the Gorki countryside residence.

Medvedev and Castro discuss issues that they had raised at their previous meetings. In addition, Medvedev invited Castro to visit the Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi. Castro accepted this invitation with pleasure.

“Recently we’ve met in Brazil to discuss an idea of making the working visit to the Russian Federation. I’m very glad that you’re making this visit.” According to the Russian prime minister, “There are reasons for synchronizing our positions on bilateral and international relations.”

Medvedev noted that he remembered his visit to Cuba and a hospitable reception, which had been extended to him. The Russian prime minister also reminded of the meeting in Zavidovo when Castro arrived in Russia. “In recent years we’ve considerably strengthened the potential of Russian-Cuban relations. The international economy and finances are in a very difficult situation. There are many contradictions in international relations. All this affect the internal situation in our countries.” That is why it is necessary to attentively use the potential of both countries and develop them, including in the economic and humanitarian fields,” Medvedev stressed.

Castro noted that the meeting was very expedient because both parties “have an opportunity to continue the contacts, which were begun during your presidency and during Vladimir Putin’s premiership”. “During these meetings, we discussed the state of our relations, as well as international issues,” Castro said. He thanked Medvedev for the proposal to visit Russia that had been put forth at the U.N. Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro. Castro said now he was making the tour to China and Vietnam and used the opportunity to visit Russia.

Speaking about Russia as a whole, and particularly about Moscow, the Cuban leader said Moscow looked younger. Castro said he visited Russia in every season. “Especially I remembered the Russian winter,” he added.

Medvedev said, “We will wait for you in Sochi at our Olympic Games in 2014.” “I accept your invitation,” Castro replied.

The Cuban leader said he intended to meet with his old friends in Russia. “I had a chance to meet with Vladimir Patrushev. In the evening I’ve planning to have a talk with Vladimir Putin and my first Soviet friend Nikolai Leonov with whom I got acquainted in 1963. Then he graduated from the Institute of International Relations and he was going to work at the embassy in Mexico. And I was the young student of the university and I took part in the congress in Vienna.” The Cuban leader said, “These years we’ve maintained interesting and sincere relationship.” In his words, “our upcoming meeting is very important because we both mark 80. It is not ruled out that we have no chance to meet.”

“So I’m doing my best to develop relationship between the Cuban and Russian peoples in the good and bad times,” Castro said. 

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