MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, begins an official visit to Cuba, the purpose of which is to consolidate inter-parliamentary cooperation, the Duma said in a report on its official website.
"Talks with the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo Hernandez, and meetings with other members of Cuban political leadership have been scheduled," it said.
Naryshkin will also attend the opening of an international conference titled ‘The USSR and Latin America during World War II and the Contemporary Epoch’ and a gala meeting devoted to the 55th anniversary since restoration of Russian-Cuban diplomatic relations.
"The Russian parliamentary delegation will lay wreaths to the Jose Marti monument, as well as to the monument to the Soviet internationalist soldiers in Havana," the report said. "To mark the 35th anniversary since the Soviet-Cuban space flight, it will hand over Yuri Gagarin’s bust to the Cuban side."
"A (Russian) parliamentary delegation of this rank hasn’t visited Cuba for quite some time and Sergei Naryshkin goes there for the first time," Ivan Melnikov, First Deputy Speaker of the Duma said in connection with the visit.
"The main task of this trip is to get acquainted with Lazo Hernandez and to discuss a further strengthening of cooperation between the Russian and Cuban parliaments now that relations of strategic partnership between the two countries have entered a new phase," he said.
Melnikov said he had come to Cuba ahead of the delegation to take part in the May Day festive rally.
"I can confirm the Cuban side is looking forward to Naryshkin and is getting ready for the meeting with much friendly attention," he said.