7 Jun 2023 16:33

Russia-Cuba trade grows nine times in Jan-April 2023 - Mishustin

SOCHI. June 7 (Interfax) - Russian-Cuban trade grew nine times in the first four months of this year despite unfavorable external circumstances, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said, adding that he was convinced this trend would continue.

"Cuba is one of our important partners in Latin America. Our cooperation rests on solid traditions of friendship, solidarity, mutual respect and trust. Together, we are resisting unprecedented sanctions pressure from unfriendly states," Mishustin said at a meeting with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz in Sochi.

As agreed by the two presidents, the countries' governments are working to expand trade and economic cooperation in various areas, Mishustin said. "Despite the unfavorable external environment, bilateral trade neared 60 billion rubles, or more than 20 billion Cuban pesos, last year. The positive dynamic was retained this year, with trade growing nine times in January-April compared to the same period in 2022. I have no doubt that it will keep growing," Mishustin said.

Moscow and Havana need to restart cooperation in order to boost trade and investment, Mishustin said. "Accordingly, our intergovernmental commission for trade, economic and scientific cooperation is addressing these tasks," he said.

Practical agreements were reached in finance, industry, energy, transport, culture and humanitarian affairs at the commission's latest meeting in Havana on May 18-19, Mishustin said.

"We are planning to actively cooperate in tourism," he said, adding that Aeroflot Group was about to begin regular flights to and from Cuba.

This would increase the number of mutual trips between the two countries, and would strengthen business ties and cultural relations, he said.

This is Cruz's first visit to Russia in his capacity as prime minister, Mishustin said. "Besides Sochi, you will visit Moscow and St. Petersburg and will take part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. I have no doubt that your visit will give a fresh impetus to cooperation between Russia and Cuba," he said.

Mishustin asked Cruz to convey greetings and best wishes from the Russian president and himself to the Cuban president.