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Senator says Russia regrets slump in normalizing Cuban-US relations

September 15, 2017, 12:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In June 2017, Trump announced the cancellation of some of Obama’s decisions concerning the improvement of relations with Cuba

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MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Russia expected that relations between Cuba and the US would improve so it regrets the decisions that US President Donald Trump has made to cancel the previous agreements, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said at a meeting with Cuban Ambassador to Russia Emilio Losada Garcia on Friday.

"On bilateral level, we have always been supporting Cuba," Kosachev said. "We know that the situation there is not easy. We can see that after the new US president took office, the process of improving relations between the United Nations and Cuba has reversed. In any case, this is what it looks like from Russia," the senator added.

He pointed out that in the summer, Trump had made a number of decisions to cancel agreements reached by the Obama administration and Havana. "Indeed, it is regrettable as we all had hopes that ties between the United States and Cuba would normalize. We know that in this regard, Cuba did everything it could do, but unfortunately, the US is unwilling to implement a number of the previously reached agreements," the Russian senator pointed out.

The United States severed diplomatic relations with Havana in 1961 following Cuban nationalization of American property. Besides, Washington imposed an economic embargo on Cuba.

In December 2014, then-President Barack Obama admitted that the US policy on Cuba did not work and declared the start of normalizing bilateral relations and easing sanctions against Cuba. The two countries restored diplomatic relations and reopened their embassies in Havana and Washington.

However, in June 2017, Trump announced the cancellation of some of Obama’s decisions on improving relations with Cuba. In particular, the Trump administration reinstated travel restrictions for US citizens and barred US companies from doing business with Cuban companies under military ownership. In early September, Trump extended the Cuba embargo until September 24, 2018.

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