Press review: Russia, Cuba unite to fend off West and can Serbia, Kosovo reach deal – Press Review – TASS..

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. The presidents of Russia and Cuba highlighted plans to boost ties at a meeting in Moscow, the European Parliament is expected to consider a resolution designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, and Serbia and Kosovo have two days to reach a compromise on the issue of vehicle license plates. These stories dominated Wednesday’s newspaper headlines across Russia.

Vedomosti: Russia, Cuba unite to resist Western pressure

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba held talks in Moscow and unveiled a monument to Fidel Castro. Putin highlighted Moscow’s support for Cuba’s sovereignty at their meeting in the Kremlin, and Diaz-Canel pointed out that Havana condemned sanctions on Russia, Vedomosti notes.

Cuba will surely support Russia on a number of issues, including sanctions, because Havana has been under a US blockade since 1960, Professor Viktor Kheifets of the International Relations Department at St. Petersburg State University told the newspaper. However, Havana is unlikely to unequivocally back Moscow in terms of the Ukrainian crisis, the expert noted.

Cuba maintains a cautious stance based on the need to maneuver between Russia who is capable of providing it with considerable support, and the United States who is gradually going back to Barack Obama’s policy aimed at restoring relations, which was suspended by Donald Trump, Deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Latin American Studies Dmitry Rozental explained.

Cuba does not have much importance for Russia as a trade partner, Kheifets noted. At the same time, there is a lot of Soviet and Russian made civilian equipment in the Caribbean island country, as well as infrastructure facilities built with Moscow’s assistance. “It is the contracts for the maintenance of that equipment and infrastructure that are of interest to Russia,” the expert stressed.

In addition, Russia provides assistance to Cuba in the geological exploration of oil and gas in offshore areas. Cuba is also considering joining Russia’s Mir payment system since the country’s banks aren’t afraid of sanctions. The move may help restore Russia’s tourist inflow to Cuba in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Kheifits pointed out. Also, the two countries may boost cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry, Rozental added.

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