Putin and Castro brothers sign deal over debt

| 15/07/2014

(CNS): Following a meeting with the Raul and Fidel Castro in Cuba on the start of a Latin American tour, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, agreed to write off 90 per cent of the island’s $35 billion debt to Moscow and announced a series of oil and trade initiatives. Putin also laid a wreath at Revolution Square in Havana with Raúl Castro, Cuba’s president and for an hour behind closed doors with his older brother Fidel, the long-time former leader. Visiting the so called American “backyard” Putin said Russia was “interested in a strong, economically stable and politically independent, united Latin America which is an important part in the emerging polycentric world order.

The Russian president’s visit to the region comes as Russia has been excludedfrom recent gatherings of the G8 group of leading industrial powers. But Putin has long sought to undermine what he believes is American and Western European domination of international agencies, even before his Ukrainian policies resulted in sanctions. Russia’s wooing of improved commercial links in Latin America comes as new figures indicate the economic impact of its belligerence in Ukraine.

 

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