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Putin receives Raúl in the Kremlin

raul y putinRussian President, Vladimir Putin, received the Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz in the Kremlin with a strong embrace and thanked him for having traveled to the capital to participate in the celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of fascism’s defeat, which will take place on May 10, in the capital’s Red Square.

Putin stated that he recalled “with affection” his last visit to Cuba, in 2014. In addition, he described diplomatic relations between Russia and the Island as long and historic, with the 55th anniversary of the reestablishment of said ties to be celebrated this Friday.

The Army General, who entered the conference room moments before Putin and greeted the journalists gathered there in Russian, thanked the host President for inviting him on date as historic as that of “the great victory of the people of the former Soviet Union.” He reiterated that for him it was impossible no to be present for the festivities and commented on the activities being carried out in Cuba in honor of such an important date.

He made particular reference to the presence of Serguei Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma, currently visiting Havana. In addition, he recalled Putin’s visit to Cuba in July 2014, and the important agreements – signed on that occasion – regarding the promotion of bilateral relations in spheres ranging from culture, industry, health, international information security, trade and natural disasters relief, among others.

After these statements, which were immediately disseminated by the press, Raúl and Putin held a private meeting, accompanied by their respective delegations.

After the meeting, Raúl presented the Russian president with an art work by Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho), which depicts an old PKP rifle (known as Pecheneg) with roses protruding from its barrel and which at its base, on three discs made from bullets, is written: “The Soviet victory over fascism is the foundation of the new Russia.”

On Friday, May 9, the Cuban President is scheduled to meet Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, highest authority of the Russian Orthodox Church, as he did during his 2009 official visit.

Leticia Martínez, Granma

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