Putin will be in Cuba July 11, Kremlin confirms

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who authorized the waiver of Cuba’s debt, will travel to South America next Friday (July 11) and will make a stopover in Havana, the Kremlin announced today (July 4).

Putin is going “at the invitation of the chairman of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Raúl Castro,” the announcement says, and will meet with him in the Cuban capital.

“During the talks, special attention will be paid to the development of trade, economic and investment ties, the implementation of joint projects in energy, transportation, civil aviation, the peaceful uses of space, and health,” the document says.

The two leaders “will also discuss current international issues. Afterward, documents on Russo-Cuban cooperation will be signed.”

Putin and Fidel during their meeting in Havana in 2000.
Putin and Fidel during their meeting in Havana in 2000 (video of visit above).

The Russian news agency ITAR-TASS said that Putin “will also visit the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.” The two have not met in person since December 2000, when Putin traveled to Havana. Fidel fell ill in 2006 and turned the presidency over to his brother Raúl.

As of Friday noon, the Cuban media had not mentioned Putin’s visit.

The Russian president will go to Argentina on July 12, for a meeting with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. “Among the main topics are expanding cooperation in trade and the economic sphere, including the prospects for joint energy projects,” the Kremlin note says, adding that “bilateral agreements will be signed afterward.”

“From July 13 to the 16th, Vladimir Putin will visit the Federal Republic of Brazil,” the statement continues. “It is expected that he will take part in the Sixth Summit of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa], hold talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, meet with representatives of the business circles in both countries and attend the closing ceremony of the 2014 World Cup, at which Russia will take over the hosting of the [soccer] championship in 2018.”

The talks with Rousseff are expected to focus “on the state of bilateral relations and their development, the discussion of specific projects of cooperation in trade, investment and humanitarian issues and other areas of deepening strategic partnership.”

They will also “address international issues, including issues relating to the coordination of the United Nations, BRICS, the Group of 20, the World Trade Organization and other regional integration groups in which Brazil participates.”

[Photo above of Putin and Cuba’s Raúl Castro was taken at the Kremlin in July 2012.]