Russian Foreign Minister starts Latin America trip with Cuba visit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is arriving in Cuba on Thursday as the first leg of his tour to Latin America aimed at expanding energy, military and tourism links with the region.

Russia views Cuba as a key partner in the Latin American region. Efforts by both sides are aimed at consolidating the strategic nature of the Russian-Cuban partnership.

The Soviet Union was Cuba's biggest ally after Fidel Castro's communist revolution.
Thousands of Cubans were educated in Soviet universities. The nations distanced as Russia abandoned the socialist way of development but the turn of the millennium saw the revival of old ties.

Russian Foreign Minister is expected to concentrate on economic issues, such as hardware and arms trade, oil extraction and tourism.

The Foreign Minister will spend two days in Cuba before heading off to Nicaragua. With Guatemala and Mexico also on his list of stops, it's clear Russia is continuing to work on restoring its influence in the region, which was lost with the collapse of the USSR.

Russia views Cuba as a key partner in the Latin American region,” explained Andrey Nesterenko, spokesperson for the Foreign Minister. “Efforts by both sides are aimed at consolidating the strategic nature of the Russian-Cuban partnership.”