Russia and Cuba have initialed an
agreement to settle Cuba's debt to Russia on the loans that Cuba took from the
Soviet Union. In addition, representatives of the two countries signed two
agreements on the deliveries of Russian aircraft to Cuba in the amount of $650
The initialed agreement "sets the
general direction for further work", a high-ranking source in the Russian
delegation told Itar-Tass. The agreement was signed by Deputy Foreign
Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Ricardo
"This document is like a
declaration of political will, and it sets off extensive work, which will
consist of three stages," said the official.
"The document goes through
internal procedures and coordination. Afterwards, there will be another
agreement signed - the new one will contain all specifications of all the
technical details, and then it will have to be ratified," he explained.
According to the official, it is a very substantial amount of debt - $35
The final agreement on writing off
the debts of Cuba will be prepared within six months, Minister for Industry and
Trade, Denis Manturov, told reporters after the Russian-Cuban talks.
proportions. We have to coordinate
all procedures inside the countries first before we sign the final agreement,
which will take effect and determine the amounts and proportions of
restructuring and writing-off the debt."
The minister assured that it will
happen "before the end of the year for sure." "I think that the term that we
have agreed on - six months - will be enough to finalize the formalities," he
The total volume of two agreements
about the supplies of Russian planes to Cuba is $650 million, the head of the
Russian Ministry of Industry said. "In total, the amount for the supply of
aircraft is 650 million dollars, - he said. - This includes two agreements for
three Antonov aircraft (AN-158), three Ilyushin (IL-96-400) and two Tupolev
Following the talks, an option
agreement was signed for the supply of three An-158 airplanes. Manturov
explained that these would be delivered to Cuba in addition to those that Cuba
would receive this year.
Under the second agreement, Cuba
will receive three Il-96-400 planes. The planes will be redesigned from the
cargo to the passenger version. In addition, Cuba will receive two Tu-204SM
airplanes when tests and certification procedures are complete.
In addition, the agreements,
according to Manturov, stipulate for the delivery of complete sets of spare
parts to maintain the operation of the aircraft, which Cuba uses already.
Manturov added that all aircraft would be delivered as part of financial leasing
The Russian delegation, led by
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, arrived on a work visit to Cuba from Brazil,
where the head of the Russian government held talks with the leadership of the
republic and took part in the meeting of the bilateral high-level commission on
Following the results of
Medvedev's official meetings in Cuba, a number of bilateral documents is
expected to be signed. On Friday, the Prime Minister will visit the 22nd Havana
International Book Fair, which takes place in the Cuban capital every
The current fair is dedicated to
the 160th anniversary of the birth of Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti. Medvedev
will lay flowers to his monument as part of the traditional protocol
The flight to Cuba marked the
middle of Medvedev's Latin American tour. The prime minister crossed seven time
zones on the way from Moscow to Brasilia, making a technical refueling stop in
Cape Verde. As a result, Medvedev spent more than 14 hours in the air. The trip
to Cuba added two time zones to this route and a seven-hour flight.
Due to the nine-hour time
difference between Havana and Moscow, even morning events in Medvedev's Cuban
work schedule fall for the evening time in Moscow.
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