MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Cuban President Raul Castro has made an invaluable contribution to strengthening the Russian-Cuban cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. He was speaking at the presentation of the book dedicated to the life of the Cuban leader. The book is authored by Nikolay Leonov, a retired KGB General and Latin America expert.
Lavrov noted that Raul Castro had "opened a new page" in the life of his country. "Together with [his brother] Fidel, he was at the forefront of the revolutionary movement on the island, laid the foundations of the modern Cuban statehood, he upheld Cuba’s independence and sovereignty amid fierce outside pressure," Russia’s top diplomat said.
"Now that Havana is facing large-scale tasks of the country’s comprehensive modernization, Raul is promoting their successful implementation in the interests of sustainable development and growth of living standards of Cubans," Lavrov added.
He also drew attention to Raul Castro’s achievements in acquiring a special place in international relations by Cuba. "Havana’s efforts in upholding the principles of justice in world affairs, the consolidation of the union movement and in strengthening the Latin American integration processes," Lavrov said.
Last month Russia and Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Lavrov recalled. "Raul Castro, just like Fidel, continues to make an invaluable personal contribution to strengthening cooperation between our two countries, which has stood the test of time, reached the level of mutually advantageous strategic partnership and centers on a long-term perspective," he added.
Russia’s top diplomat voiced confidence that Nikolay Leonov’s book would be of considerable interest not only to experts in international relations but also to a wide range of readers. "It contains many interesting facts concerning both the Cuban revolution and the development of ties between our countries," Lavrov said.
"The author of the book is known as a person who gave many years of his life to the intelligence service," the minister noted. "He is known as an excellent analyst, a gifted scholar and writer.".