The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, condemned this Friday the Western sanctions against Russia and Belarusand advocated greater cooperation between the island and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), led by Moscow.
“Cuba opposes unilateral coercive measures against Russia and Belarus, which aggravate the regional and international economic situation and hinder development possibilities for our peoples,” said the Cuban president. in a video message issued during the UEE summit in Bishkek.
Review the agency Eph that the president of Cuba, which has observer status before the UEE, formed, in addition to Russia and Belarus, for Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, assured that the military conflict in Ukraine, for which Moscow faces the current sanctions “could have been avoided.” “The military conflict could have been avoided if Russia’s well-founded claims for security guarantees had been seriously and respectfully addressed,” he said.
He also added that the Island “will continue to defend peace in all circumstances” through a serious dialogue between the parties that offers guarantees of security and sovereignty for all.
The president’s words reinforce the position taken by the Island since the beginning of Russia’s military invasion of Ukrainian territory, established by a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) that advocated a “serious, constructive and realistic diplomatic solution to the current crisis” that “guarantees the security and sovereignty of all, as well as regional and international peace, stability and security.”
Without condemning the Russian military incursion, the government in Havana has considered the “progressive expansion of NATO towards the borders of the Eurasian country” as the trigger for the conflict, and blamed the United States and the Atlantic Alliance for the “progressive military siege” against Russia, before which, he said, it has “the right to defend itself”, because “it is not possible to achieve peace by surrounding or cornering the States.”
Regarding relations with the UEE, Díaz-Canel reaffirmed his government’s willingness to actively participate in the activities of that organization, as an observer country. In this sense, he highlighted the current contacts between the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and UEE organizations to strengthen cooperation in different areas, adds Eph.
He also mentioned the negotiations between the Cuban and Russian authorities to allow the circulation of Russian MIR bank cards in the Caribbean country, which “will have a favorable impact on the tourism sector.”
In recent years, Havana and Moscow have boosted their bilateral relationship to try to restore the close cooperation they maintained until the disappearance of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia is one of Cuba’s top 10 trade partners, and both define their partnership as “strategic”.
In 2014, Moscow forgave 90% of the debt contracted by the island, valued at 35.3 billion dollars. It also extended until 2027 the credits it gave Cuba between 2006 and 2019 to finance projects in the spheres of energy, the metallurgical industry and transportation, as well as for the supply of goods necessary for the development of the island’s economy.
At the end of January, Presidents Díaz-Canel and Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation in which they addressed issues related to strategic cooperation between the two countries, in addition to reiterating “the intention to work closely to strengthen bilateral relations” and work to “intensify contacts at various levels.”