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Russia signs $260mln contracts with Cuba, deputy PM says

HAVANA, October 31. /TASS/. Russia and Cuba inked contracts to the tune of more than $260 mln in the framework of a joint commission for trade and economic and scientific-technical cooperation, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said after the commission’s 16th session in Havana.

"Modernizing three energy units worth nearly $100 mln, the second stage of modernizing a metallurgy plant - that’s around $60 mln and supplying rail cars to the tune of over $100 mln. These are serious contracts," Borisov said.

On Tuesday, the PM Reil trading company, which is part of Russian Machines corporation owned by Basic Element, signed a contract with Cuba’s TRADEX state enterprise for transport supplies on delivering 837 rail cars in 2019-2021. Cuba’s Energoimport and Russia’s Inter RAO export signed a memorandum on finalizing a deal on financing a project for modernizing three 100 MW energy units in Cuba. The partners inked a contract on supplying to Cuba 15,000 LED lamps and their parts manufactured in Russia. Cuba’s Acinox Comercial and Russia’s Industrial Engineering agreed on modernizing a metallurgic plant in Las Tunas, central-eastern Cuba.

The business projects were discussed during the two-day 16th session of the joint commission for trade and economic and scientific-technical cooperation chaired by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov and Cuban Vice President of the Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz.

Russia plans to continue signing contracts with Cuba during the visit of its leader Miguel Diaz-Canel to Moscow this week, Borisov said. "Our project on modernizing Cuba’s railways is vital and in high demand," Borisov said, noting that some issues need to be solved, including on tax benefits for Russian enterprises. "We agreed that we will dot the i’s during the visit," he said.

Cuba’s new President Miguel Diaz-Canel is due to pay an official visit to Russia on November 1. The next day he is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss enhancing bilateral strategic partnership in various areas and exchange views on topical international and regional issues.

This will become the first visit of the Cuban leader to a foreign country outside the Caribbean Basin.

Miguel Diaz-Canel replaced Raul Castro as President of Cuba’s Council of State and President of the Republic of Cuba in April 2018. Since 2013, Diaz-Canel had been the First Vice President of Cuba’s Council of State and the Council of Ministers, Cuba’s second-highest political position.