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MOSCOW, May 18 (Itar-Tass) - The entry into force of the agreement on the settlement of Cuba’s debt will boost its financial and investment rating, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said upon arrival in Moscow on Saturday, May 18, after a visit to Havana.
During the visit, Matviyenko met with Cuban leader Raul Castro. They had a “very trusting” two-hour conversation, during which Castro told Matviyenko about economic reforms in the country and expressed hope for investments, including those from Russia.
Matviyenko believes that economic and social reforms in Cuba will help open up the national economy and create new conditions for cooperation with Russia.
She said Russian-Cuban relations are on the rise in all areas: in political dialogue, in interaction between ministries and agencies, and in inter-parliamentary ties.
In her opinion, energy is a promising area of bilateral cooperation. Matviyenko stressed that this sector “is of interest since Cuba has thermal power plants built with Soviet assistance” and “there are prospects for building new units and supplying equipment.”
The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply of equipment for four new power units.
Among other areas of cooperation, Matviyenko named petrochemistry, agriculture and tourism.
She regretted that the current volume of trade with Cuba remains low but expressed hope that liberalisation and other reforms in Cuba will open up new prospects for Russian companies in that country. “Russian business has interest in Cuba,” she said.