HAVANA, June 14 Russia and Cuba are preparing an intergovernmental agreement for the Russian company Rosneft to supply 1.64 million tons of oil and hydrocarbons annually to the island, Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz declared today during a meeting with his counterpart. Russian, Mikhail Mishustin.
Marrero Cruz, who is on an official visit to Russia, commented that this Tuesday he spoke with directors of Rosneft, who informed him about the progress of the working group created to prepare the agreement between Havana and Moscow.
According to Marrero, this agreement seeks to guarantee the “stable supply” of oil to Cuba.
The Cuban dictatorship stressed the validity and importance of this agreement for his country and recognized that Cuba is experiencing difficulties with the supply of fuel.
For his part, Mishustin, who is meeting for the second time with Marrero in the framework of his visit, stressed that Russia “regards the strengthening of friendship and association with Cuba as an unquestionable priority.”
The head of the Russian government added that the cooperation between Moscow and Havana “has passed the test of time and repeatedly demonstrated its stability in the face of external challenges,” among which he cited the economic sanctions of “unfriendly countries.”
Mishustin reported that both countries are working on the creation of a bilateral financial payment system and have begun to trade based on national currencies, the ruble and the Cuban peso.
This same Tuesday, the Cuban prime minister met with the former Russian president and vice president of the Russian Security Council, Dmitri Medvedev, with whom they discussed bilateral cooperation, including the technical-military, transportation, industry and investment spheres.
In particular, they discussed cultural and humanitarian cooperation and the scholarship program for Cuban students, as well as the creation of a special school for teaching the Russian language in Cuba.
Marrero, who already served on the intergovernmental council of the post-Soviet Eurasian Economic Union and has held meetings with senior Russian officials, is scheduled to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this week.
Russia is getting closer to Cuba
Urged for new trading partners and political allies after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Russia is drawing ever closer to Cuba, a welcome step on an investment-hungry island in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the implosion of the Soviet bloc in 1991.
In 2023, the visits of senior Russian officials to the Caribbean island have multiplied, which began in March with the trips of the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, and the executive director of the Rosneft oil company, Igor Sechin.
Havana also laid out the red carpet, among others, for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the President’s Economic Adviser, Maxim Oreshkin, the representative of Russian businessmen before the Kremlin, Boris Titov, and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko.
In mid-May, Chernyshenko drew up a “road map” to accelerate cooperation with Cuba, which is facing the worst economic crisis in three decades, with a severe shortage of food, medicine and fuel, while representatives of fifty Russian companies he was exploring business and investment possibilities on the Caribbean island.