Russia wants to actively promote military and economy ties with Cuba, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday during a visit to Havana, according to News.ru.
Lavrov’s statement comes amid a trade embargo imposed on the Caribbean nation by the United States.
“We will support in all ways Cuba, Cuban people and the Cuban leadership. Not only morally, but developing military cooperation with Cuba, actively promoting trade, economic projects, which will help make the Cuban economy more resilient to external effects of different kinds. I hope we will succeed,” Lavrov said after talks with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
The Russian foreign minister reiterated his solidarity in the face of “unacceptable measures” against Havana taken by Washington, which included a trade embargo and threats of new sanctions.
“We deeply respect the resilience of Cuban people who endure all these attacks linked to the illegal economic embargo with dignity and also reach new highs in the economy, medicine, culture, education. We always stand with people of Cuba, defending the norms of international law,” the top Russian diplomat said.
He drew attention to the annual UN General Assembly’s resolution that stated that the US trade embargo against Cuba was unacceptable. It usually gains 190 votes on average, with the United States voting against the resolution. According to Lavrov, the stance of the international community on the situation in Cuba “speaks for itself.”
Washington first diplomatic ties with Cuba and imposed a trade embargo on the country in the 1960s. It was only in 2014 that the U.S. and Cuba expressed their intention to start working on normalizing bilateral relations only in 2014. As a result, many restrictions on exchanges between the United States and Cuba were eased under then-President Barack Obama.
However, in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump reversed the policy of his predecessor and abandoned attempts to normalize relations with Havana. This year, Trump’s administration set new limits for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba and businesses, which some analysts have called “a mistake” which would “lead Cuba into the arms of Moscow and Beijing.”