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Cuban president meets Russian PM on bilateral ties


14:19, February 22, 2013

HAVANA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cuban President Raul Castro and visiting Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev held talks Thursday on strengthening the economic relations between the two countries.

Cuba's official NNTV news reported that both leaders spoke highly of the bilateral relationship and expressed their mutual willingness to strengthen their trade and economic ties.

It added that the Russian delegation was now having talks with their Cuban counterparts for the signing of new collaboration agreements in different areas.

The source confirmed that before meeting with the Cuban leader, Medvedev paid tribute to Jose Marti, national hero of Cuba.

The prime minister arrived at Jose Marti International Airport at 4.50 p.m. local time (21.50 GMT) on Thursday. First Vice President of Cuba Jose Ramon Machado Ventura and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez attended the welcoming ceremony.

Medvedev traveled to Cuba following his visit to Brazil where agreements on enhancing trade flows were signed.

On Friday he is scheduled to lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of the Soviet Internationalist Soldier where the remains of 67 Soviet soldiers were held in memory of their sacrifice in the Missile Crisis in October 1962.

He will also visit the Russian stand at the 2013 International Book Fair at the colonial fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana, built at the end of the 18th century.

This is Medvedev's second trip to Cuba. He visited the island country as head of state in 2008, when he met with President Raul Castro and his elder brother and former President Fidel Castro.

No information has been released if Medvedev will meet with Fidel Castro this time, the "historic leader" of the Cuban Revolution who resumed Cuba's diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1960.

Cuba and Russia have maintained political exchanges at the highest level and close economic ties in the fields of investment, trade and tourism.

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