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Russia, Cuba to sign loan, food aid agreements
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11:14, January 31, 2009

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Russia will sign deals on loan and food aid with Cuba during the Caribbean state leader Raul Castro's ongoing visit in Moscow, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday.

"The visit will see a series of documents, including an inter-government agreement on a state loan and food aid to Cuba," a Kremlin official was quoted as saying.

The official said that 25,000 metric tons of grain would be delivered to Cuba.

Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia would provide 20 million U.S. dollars to Cuba, which would be used to buy Russian-made goods. The two leaders enjoyed a nostalgia-tinted meeting at the presidential residence of Zavidovo outside Moscow on Thursday.

Castro, the first Cuban leader to visit Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, will have formal talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday, during which they are expected to discuss further economic, political and humanitarian cooperation.

Castro arrived here Wednesday for a weeklong visit to Russia aimed at boosting bilateral ties.

Russia's relations with its Cold War ally Cuba cooled down after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, Russia has recently moved to revive ties with Cuba, as well as other Latin American states.

Last November, Medvedev paid a visit to Cuba, where he met with Raul Castro and his brother Fidel Castro and pledged to promote political and economic ties.

Source: Xinhua

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