Valentina Matviyenko: Russian-Cuban relations are progressing

The Federation Council Speaker meets with Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers.

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko met with Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas Ruíz.

The parties discussed further developing Russian-Cuban relations and links between the regions of the two countries.

Cuba is Russia’s reliable ally, Valentina Matviyenko stressed. “We value the strategic nature of Russian-Cuban cooperation. Our intensive and constructive political dialogue continues at all levels.”

Russian-Cuban inter-parliamentary connections are also progressing, the Speaker noted. She added that the countries are currently preparing for the first Russian-Cuban inter-parliamentary meeting that will involve representatives of committees and friendship groups from both houses of the Russian parliament, as well as for a meeting of the specialised committees of the Federation Council and the National Assembly of People's Power.

According to the Speaker, this work is an extension of the agreements reached during a visit of the delegation from the upper house of the Russian parliament to Cuba in November 2019.

Two anniversaries are being marked this year, the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory and 60 years since the resumption of Russian-Cuban diplomatic relations, the Speaker noted. Valentina Matviyenko thanked her Cuban colleagues for their support and assistance in unveiling a monument to Issa Pliyev on 9 May 2020 in Cuba. Pliyev was the first commander of Soviet troops on the island and two-time Hero of the Soviet Union. Also, a memorial plaque for the crew of the Tupolev Tu-95 aircraft that crashed while performing a combat mission on 4 August 1976 was unveiled.

Ricardo Cabrisas Ruíz noted the importance of the support Russia has offered to Cuba in overcoming the impact of the economic blockade by the United States, and in countering the spread of the coronavirus.

The Vice President said that Cuba is committed to gradually developing both bilateral and multilateral relations, including with the Eurasian Economic Union.

He also informed Valentina Matviyenko about opportunities for cooperation in pharmaceutical production and biotechnologies. The Speaker supported expanding co-production of medical drugs, building a joint pharmaceutical cluster and, in general, boosting cooperation between the healthcare systems of the two countries in today’s new circumstances.

The parties also discussed developing cultural and humanitarian links.

Other participants in the meeting included Konstantin Kosachev, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Valery Vasilyev, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Economic Policy and member of the Group on Cooperation with Parliaments of Latin American Countries, and Nataliya Kosikhina, member of the Committee on Science, Education and Culture and member of the Group on Cooperation with the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba.