Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Russian Advice to Obama; Boosts Ties with Cuba

Russian Foreign Min Urges US To Lift Cuba Trade Embargo

Tuesday November 11st, 2008 / 19h13

MOSCOW (AFP)--Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged U.S. president-elect Barack Obama to lift Washington's 46-year-old trade embargo against Cuba.
"We hope that the voice of the international community, which has made itself heard again at the United Nations, will be taken into consideration," Lavrov said.

"I heard that relations with Cuba were among the questions on which the administration of the president-elect Barack Obama were going to reflect and take decisions," he said following talks with his Cuban counterpart, Felipe Perez Roque, during a visit to Moscow.

The U.N. General Assembly last month again called on the U.S. to lift the embargo.
The Russian foreign minister also described military and technical co-operation with Cuba as an "important element" of the partnership between the two countries.

Such cooperation, added Roque, was always aimed at "reinforcing the defensive potential of Cuba."

During the long U.S. election campaign, Cubans rooted for Obama, believing his victory would overturn the U.S. economic embargo on the communist island state, which was hardened under U.S. President George W. Bush.

Obama said during the election campaign that as soon as he became president, he would allow unlimited family travel and financial remittances to Cub, although he would maintain the economic embargo.


Medvedev: Russia to boost economic, political ties with Cuba 2008-11-11 21:58:24

MOSCOW, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that Moscow will advance economic cooperation and political ties with Cuba.

"We've overcome the pause that appeared in our relations in the past decade and today our contacts are intensive and friendly," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Medvedev as saying during a meeting with visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

Medvedev hailed cooperation between Russia and Cuba in the world arena, saying Cuba has been and remains one of Russia's "key partners in Latin America."

Medvedev accepted an invitation from the Cuban leadership for an official visit to the Caribbean country and Cuban leader Raul Castro is expected to visit Russia next year, Itar-Tass said.

Earlier Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called military cooperation an important component of a Russian-Cuban partnership, but Roque said "no documents concerning military cooperation will be signed" during his stay in Moscow.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has pledged to reinforce Russia's global status, including its presence in such countries as Cuba amid rows with the United States over Washington's plans to deploy anti-ballistic missile components in Central Europe.

Roque rejected the possibility of resuming Russia's military presence in Cuba but vowed to boost energy cooperation and economic ties.

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