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HAVANA, March 24. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will holds talks in Havana on Tuesday with Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez. They will focus on the expansion of trade and economic relations, foreign policy issues. The visit is taking place in the run-up to the 55th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries to be marked on May 8.
According to experts, Russia and Cuba will be able to significantly increase bilateral trade in the near future. Last year it amounted to some $186 million. According to some data, Russia and Cuba are ready for closer cooperation in the field of civil aviation, space exploration and healthcare.
The energy sector remains one of the most promising spheres for cooperation, for instance, Russia’s participation in the construction and modernization of heating power plants in Cuba. In addition, last year, Russia’s state oil companies Rosneft, Zarubezhneft and the Cuban state oil company Cupet agreed to work together on a block of the Cuban shelf, but no substantive agreement has been signed yet. "The task is to conduct serious exploration work in collaboration with us, everything must be clarified, negotiations are underway, but they focus on the practical aspects of coordination of the parameters," an informed source told TASS.
The Russian side attaches major importance to the development of dialogue with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which brings together 33 countries in the region, including Cuba and Venezuela. "We are working on the formation of a permanent mechanism for political dialogue with this structure, including for a more effective response to perturbations in the economy," Moscow says. "We appreciate that our Cuban friends actively help us in in this sphere and act as initiators of many corresponding agreements." This topic will also be discussed by the ministers.