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Russian defence minister hails ‘constructive’ development of Cuba ties in military sphere

February 14, 2015, 7:43 UTC+3 HAVANA
"Our relations in the military sphere are developing constructively," the Russian defence minister said
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Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu

© TASS/Defense department of the Russia/Savitsky Vadim

HAVANA, February 14. /TASS/. The Russian-Cuban relations in the military and military-technical sphere are developing in a constructive way, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said during the meeting with Cuba’s President Raul Castro on Saturday.

"Our relations in the military sphere are developing constructively," the Russian defence minister said, adding: "We are interested in expanding cooperation in the naval sphere."

Shoigu thanked the Cuban side for a reception of Russia’s Navy vessels during the call at the port of Havana.

He also invited Cuba’s military delegations to participate in this year’s tank biathlon international competitions, international war games, the 4th international security conference and the international scientific and technical forum Army 2015.

Raul Castrol said Cuba’s military delegations would take part in these events.

Shoigu said the approaches of Russia and Cuba on global and regional security issues "fully coincide." "Our countries are bound by common interest in forming a just and polycentric world order based on equality, adherence to international law and respect for it with the central role of the United Nations," he said.

The minister said his visit to Cuba comes as the countries see a robust development of bilateral ties. "Your country is our long-time friend and a symbol of love of freedom and independence in Latin America," he said.

"Cuba, which has survived in the conditions of a blockade for over half a century, continues firmly and consistently following the track of defending its national sovereignty and implementing its development model," Shoigu said.

Shoigu also said that today the good and time-tested relations between Russia and Cuba are revitalizing. The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Havana in July 2014 gave an impetus to strengthening bilateral ties, he said.

"Our priority it to implement the agreements reached during the highest level meetings," he said.

The long traditions of friendship between the people of Russia and Cuba are a "firm basis for expanding bilateral cooperation and coordinating efforts on the international arena," he said.

Shoigu concludes his trip to South America, during which he also visited Venezuela and Nicaragua.

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