Putin signs law to postpone payment of Cuban debt

Putin signs law to postpone payment of Cuban debt

HAVANA, June 12 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will allow him to postpone the payment of Cuba’s debt, a country that has received loans since 2006 for an amount equivalent to $2.3 billion dollars.

The official document, quoted by the Prensa Latina agency, indicates that on June 8, the Council of the Russian Federation (Senate) and on May 24 by the State Duma (Lower House of Parliament) ratified four protocols of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental loan agreements that grant Havana a deferment of payments.

Between 2006 and 2019, Russia provided the island with state export loans in an amount equivalent to 2.3 billion dollars, the Russian government note said.

It details that the funds were granted to the Caribbean country to finance energy projects, metallurgy, transport infrastructure and supply of products to develop and support the economy.

However, Cuba stopped paying the state loans provided by Russia at the beginning of 2020, for which in September of that year Havana asked its old ally for a debt restructuring (between 2020 and 2021 Cuba stopped paying for the payment of debt and interest $57 million).

On August 7, 2021, both countries signed intergovernmental protocols to defer deposits.

The renegotiation made headlines again on February 22, when Moscow signed a new regulation that extended until 2027 the payment of credits granted to the Cuban government. The increase in the payment term was made in the middle of a visit to Cuba by Viacheslav Volodin, president of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, two days before the invasion of Ukraine began.

The new terms meant that the Russian government would recover that amount between 2022 and 2027, plus an additional payment of about $11 million.

Since then, the Cuban regime has expressed its support for the Kremlin from the very beginning of the war against Ukraine, giving absolute credibility to the Russian narrative that justifies the war.

The International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council indicated that Cuba is of special importance to Moscow, as it contributes “to strengthening the political positions of the Russian Federation in Latin America.”

One of the protocols signed this week modifies the bilateral agreement on the granting of a state loan, dated January 30, 2009.

The second affects the approval of a credit to finance the supply of oil and its derivatives to Cuba, signed on March 20, 2017.

The other two protocols, meanwhile, extend the agreements between Moscow and Havana on the provision of loans to finance supplies of oil and its derivatives to the Caribbean island. These were signed on December 13, 2017 and July 19, 2019, the note highlights.