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Normalization of US-Cuba relations does not contradict Russia’s interests — diplomat

February 09, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s policy towards Cuba has not changed during the first months of the process of normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba
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© AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Russia’s policy aimed at developing ties with Cuba has not changed during the first months of the process of normalizing relations between Washington and Havana, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin American Department Alexander Schetinin has told TASS.

"The normalization of the US-Cuban relations will not affect us, because our elatioins with Cuba are based on something more than the political events evolving around a particular issue or a particular country," the diplomat said.

Schetinin noted that the normalization of the US-Cuban relations "is a very important issue." "This process is underway, it is rather difficult, above all, because after the first decisions taken by the two countries oriented toward politics and media, the issue of specific political agreements and development of the bilateral relations has reached a point where both countries adhere to sufficiently clear and well-defined criteria and their own ‘red lines’," Schetinin said. "With regard to Cuba, this is certainly the cancellation of the U.S. embargo, resolution of the issue of retaining the Guantanamo base on Cuba, the inadmissibility of outside interference in the country’s internal affairs, primarily with the use of modern IT technologies, communications technologies that can be aimed at eroding the unity of the Cuban society," the diplomat said.

Schetinin added that Russia’s policy towards Cuba had not changed during the first months of the process of normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba. "No, [it has not changed] in any way, and we've repeatedly heard, we were informed at the highest level about the point of view of the Cuban leadership that the partnership relations between Russia and Cuba would develop in the future without any adjustments related to Havana’s relations with the United States," he said.

"Cuba is opening up now, its economy is opening up," Schetinin said. He recalled that Havana had passed "a very balanced law on foreign investment very positive for international cooperation." "Cuba is attracting broad attention of international investors - European, Latin American, including investors from the United States itself," the diplomat said. "This is why the pressure of US businesses on the government regarding the cancellation of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba is such an important issue." "Therefore, our interest, our task is to make sure that further cooperation between Russia and Cuba is strengthened and is based on these new realities," he said. "From the point of view of the political environment, there are widest favorable opportunities for us here."

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