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MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The relations between Russia and Cuba are valuable in themselves and are not subject to the influence of the foreign policy situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel One in an interview broadcast on Saturday devoted to Fidel Castro’s jubilee.
Lavrov said that "our relations have been valuable in themselves" not just today but at all stages. "Those were relations of sincere friendship, strategic partnership and, of course, great sympathy between the peoples of our country and Cuba," the foreign minister noted.
The bilateral relations have not changed "over fluctuations in the foreign policy situation, escalation on the global arena, such as the Caribbean crisis," Lavrov continued. "There were probably some ups and downs in the relations between the leaders, including due to specific personality traits of Khruschev’s leadership. It is probably the best word to describe them," he added.
"This definitely continues now as well," Lavrov concluded.
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is a legendary man and a role model, he is respected around the world, Russian Foreign Minister said.
Lavrov said that he met with the Cuban revolutionary leader several times, for the first time - in September 2004 during his official visit to Havana ahead of the UN General Assembly session.
"There were some problems with electricity on Cuba then, there was some kind of accident. Castro explained live to people what the government is doing to overcome the consequences of this accident," the foreign minister remembered. "Our meeting was postponed for a couple of hours. We met and spent around 1.5 hours together late in the evening, closer to 11pm," he added.
Castro "was functioning to the full extent," he was completely aware of the situation not only in his own country but also in regional and global affairs, Lavrov noted.
Castro after resigning
"I found similar knowledge of the situation, of the reality several years ago, when I made another visit to Cuba. Castro, who has already resigned, welcomed guests, like he welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin at his home - very modest and small - in July 2014. He told us how he became deeply engaged with problems of climate change," Lavrov recalled.
The foreign minister said Castro really wants to come up with measures that will help facilitate effectively fighting against global warming. "You should see his eyes, and he is very passionate. His eyes are that of a young, you could even say youthful, pure and devoted man. Of course, his health is not what it used to be. But I will repeat once again that his spirit is colossal," he said.
"He is a role model. He is a patriot of his own country, a true son of his people. I think that he was born a leader who fought for the right of Cubans to live how they want to. He defended that right, he is greatly respected around the world. The Cuban people worship him," Lavrov concluded.
On August 13 Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro turns 90.