Díaz-Canel arrives in Russia to meet with Putin after his inauguration

Díaz-Canel arrives in Russia to meet with Putin after his inauguration

HAVANA, May 7th.  Miguel Díaz-Canel announced this Monday afternoon his departure from Cuba to Moscow, where he will arrive this Tuesday, hours after the fifth inauguration of Vladimir Putin.

The Cuban leader – who will remain in the country until Thursday, May 9 – confirmed that he will meet with his Russian counterpart and that he is invited to the military parade on Victory Day over Nazi Germany, known in the country as Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

“Compatriots, we will begin a working visit to Russia to address the priorities of the bilateral agenda, following the re-election of President Vladimir Putin,” Díaz-Canel wrote on his X social network account.

In a second message, the president added: “We will participate in the Supreme Council of the Eurasian Economic Union. All this is within the framework of the 64th anniversary of the re-establishment of our diplomatic relations and the 79th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.

Díaz-Canel thus misses the investiture ceremony, where leaders from the European Union, the United States and Canada are invited, who have declined their attendance, although some will send representatives.

The Cuban leader will, however, be seen at the May 9 event with the leaders of Laos, Guinea Bissau and the former Soviet Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Díaz-Canel has visited Russia in 2018, 2019 and 2022. In the last of his visits, at the joint press conference offered with the Russian president, both addressed the cooperation plan between the two Governments, with various common projects, up to the year 2030.

In 2024, as a result of this desire for cooperation at the highest level, it was announced that the ties between Havana and Moscow are experiencing a growing strengthening.

The supply of hydrocarbons, wheat and fertilizers, amid a complex context for the Island, has been appreciated by the Cuban authorities, who praise Russia’s support against the US “blockade.”

Currently, the country is the third largest source of vacationers to Cuba, with more than 185,000 travelers in 2023 and growth expectations. Furthermore, in the field of business, investment by Russian business has been encouraged in agriculture, transportation, energy, communications and health, among others.

The most recent high-level meeting between both sides took place in February when Díaz-Canel met in Havana with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The diplomat then assured that the Island is his country’s “most important partner and ally” in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We exchanged about the revitalization of bilateral relations on issues of common interest and about relevant issues on the international agenda,” said Díaz-Canel.

Lavrov also held a meeting with his counterpart, Bruno Rodríguez, which, according to the parties, “was an opportunity to exchange on issues of common interest on the regional and international agenda, as well as to advance bilateral cooperation.”

The year 2023 was marked by frequent high-ranking visits to the Cuban capital, including the President of the State Duma Viacheslav Volodin, presidential advisor Maxim Oreshkin and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko.