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Russia writes off part of Cuba’s $30bn debt
February 22, 2013, 11:15 am

Dimitri Medvedev, the Russian prime minister (left) and Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana, Cuba. [Xinhua]

Dimitri Medvedev, the Russian prime minister (left) and Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana, Cuba. [Xinhua]

During his trip to Havana, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, signed a preliminary agreement with Cuba stipulating that the south American island will not have to pay back the full amount of its $30 billion debt.

Denis Manturov, Russia’s industry and trade minister announced the details during the sidelines of the talks.

The agreement also stipulates that the remaning debt will be restructured in a 10-year refinancing plan – the deal will be finalised by the end of the year.

Cuba is Russia’s largest debt holder since the Soviet era.

Another significant outcome of Medvedev’s trip to Cuba was a deal agreed for the purchase of Russian aircrafts worth $650 million.

Cuba confirmed its interest in the purchase of three Ilyushin-96-400 long-haul jets, three AN-158 regional planes and two TU-204SM mid-range aircraft.

Russian company Ilyushin Finance and the Cuban Aviation Corporation signed an option agreement on the delivery of three Antono

v An-158 passenger aircraft and a number of other agreements in the presence of the Russian prime minister and Cuban leader Raul Castro following talks.

Medvedev arrived in Cuba on Thursday to meet Raul Castro, following a trip to Brazil.

The sides have discussed cooperation between their countries and opportunities to strengthen ties.

Trade turnover between Cuba and Russia is over $200 million.

Intergovernmental agreements on cooperation have been signed in the space industry, science, technology, environment and hydrometeorology.

Daria Chernyshova

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