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Beginning of the meeting with Chairman of the Cuban State Council and the Council of Ministers Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez

November 2, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Chairman, friends,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Moscow.

This is your first time you are visiting a country that is not in your region and the first visit to the Russian Federation as head of state. I am very happy to see you and to have the opportunity to continue our dialogue, which began some time ago.

To begin, I would like to ask you to convey my best wishes and greetings to Comrade Raul Castro.

Relations between Russia and Cuba have been developing for decades, and since the very beginning, they had a special strategic nature. We are united by friendship, mutual support and assistance.

We recently managed to somewhat improve trade and economic relations as well; in 2017, their growth was 17 percent. We will speak more about this today, as well as about other areas of our interaction.

We are very happy to see you. Welcome.

President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez (retranslated): Thank you very much, President Putin.

It is a great honour for us to be here on this visit and to meet with you. We can continue discussing the issues that we began talking about during my previous visit. I would like to say that I have brought a brotherly hello from Army General Raul Castro Ruz.

This visit is crucially important to us. This year marks four years since your visit to Cuba in 2014 and two years since my visit here as First Deputy Prime Minister.

Therefore, this visit as Chairman of the State Council and the Council of Ministers shows there is continuity in relations between the Cuban Revolution and the Russian Federation.

This continuity has all the guarantees of existing given how our relations developed and that they are brotherly, as you said.

We will preserve the legacy we received from Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, as well as the contribution you made to these relations.

Your visit to Cuba four years ago was a major milestone and a new step in the development of bilateral relations. It was followed by the active work of our bilateral intergovernmental commission. We made good progress in a series of directions that are strategic for the development of our country. The level of our relations is quite high at all levels, especially in politics.

Taking into account the great importance of your visit, we would like to invite you in 2019, on the fifth anniversary of your visit to Cuba.


November 2, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow