MOSCOW – Russia is ready to help Cuba modernize its economy, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday following talks at the Kremlin with Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel.
“Russia offers Cuba assistance to build transport infrastructure. Today we have addressed the renovation of the Cuban rail network,” Putin said.
He also pointed to Russian oil giant Rosneft’s exploratory drilling on Cuba’s continental shelf, which the government in Havana estimates to hold the equivalent of 20 billion barrels of crude.
Putin likewise stressed the importance of deliveries of Russian oil and gas to Cuba to ensure energy independence for the island amid a decline in imports of oil from Venezuela.
Russia plans to help Cuba restore the dome of the capitol, where the National Assembly of People’s Power meets, Putin said.
Diaz-Canel called for boosting bilateral economic cooperation to the level of the already “excellent” political ties between Cuba and Russia.
The Cuban president arrived in Moscow on Thursday as part of a global tour that will also take him to China and North Korea.