Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin held a meeting with President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez at the State Duma, where he stressed that “Cuba is more than just a strategic partner” for Russia.
“Russia and Cuba have special relations. These relations have gone through the most difficult times. We believe that this is the right cooperation that should be between friends,” said Volodin.
He recalled that that was the second meeting with President of Cuba in 2022 and expressed confidence that his visit would contribute positively to the development of inter-parliamentary cooperation.
“We are convinced that, despite the great distance between our countries, we should meet more often and communicate more. A dialogue would help to develop not only more trust, but also provide opportunities to discuss new projects, develop relations between the countries in the interests of our nations,” added the Chairman of the State Duma.
He noted the fact that Cuba had been living in the sanctions conditions for a long time, just like Russia. “For us, Cuba is a symbol of the struggle for independence, struggle for self-determination of the people, for the opportunity to live in peace, preserving its traditions, culture, language, way of life,” stressed the Chairman of the State Duma.
Strengthening and developing Russia-Cuba cooperation
The President of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez thanked Russia for its long-standing support during the sanctions times and its help provided to deal with the after-effects of the natural disasters.
“We welcome all Russia’s efforts aimed at preserving a multipolar order in the world. We condemn the unilateral coercive sanctions that the USA and the Western impose against Russia; we consider such restrictive measures unfair. And once again we would like to reaffirm that Russia can always count on Cuba,” he said.
Díaz-Canel Bermúdez noted “a high level of political dialogue between Russia and Cuba, including at the level of parliaments” and added that the meeting at the State Duma “makes it possible to continue to discuss issues that were raised earlier.”
“I think it is very positive that even in the most difficult COVID moments, within the tightening of all sanctions both against Russia and Cuba, we have managed to maintain a high level of cooperation, exchanges both at the bilateral and parliamentary level,” he said.
The President of Cuba said that Esteban Lazo Hernández, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba, would visit Russia in the near future. “We take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank for all the contributions of the inter-parliamentary friendship group in the development of our relations,” he said.
The parliamentary ties between the two countries are of particular importance for Russia and Cuba, as said the President of the Republic. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to address the members of the State Duma at the plenary meeting.
H recalled that Cuba, just like Russia, had been living under external economic restrictions, and, according to him, in the last few years the USA had imposed more than 200 sanctions against the country.
In difficult economic conditions Cuba counts on the support of friends, including Russia, according to him. The President added that the bilateral projects in the field of geology, heavy industry had been actively developing; Russia also provided active support to the railway infrastructure of Cuba. The issues of development of tourism and educational cooperation were also discussed at the meeting.
The development of our economic, trade, financial cooperation and partnership, as well as bringing them to the political level remains an unresolved issue. Both legislative bodies should work in this direction.
Díaz-Canel Bermúdez emphasized that during a difficult historical phase Cuba and Russia “were able to learn certain lessons”: “We have learned that, despite the most difficult circumstances, we can find innovative ways and formulas to further develop our cooperation”.
He thanked Russia for providing support to Cuba in its fight against the embargo, the statements were adopted by the State Duma. Russia has always helped Cuba in the most difficult moments for the country. “Only true friends do that!” emphasized Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.
Russia and Cuba have excellent political relations. Both have similar views on major issues on the international agenda and there is decisive interaction within the framework of international organizations.