Putin visits Cuba

Vladimir Putin visits Cuba this week. Putin's trip will be the first by a Russian leader since Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visited Moscow's Caribbean ally in 1989. From Havana Putin flies to Canada, passing over the United States. In the interview on 10, December to Cuban TV Cubavision, the Prensa Latina News Agency and the Russian ORT Television Company Vladimir Putin said: "Cuba is our traditional, long-standing and reliable partner. At one time, relations with Cuba were based on ideology to the highest possible level. Inter-state relations were founded on ideology. And after the events that occurred in the Soviet Union, in Russia, ten years ago, after the ideological base of our relations had been substantially impaired, relations between our states were regretfully damaged. That was transferred to the sphere of inter-state relations. I do not think that that was done correctly. At the present time, Russia is devoting more and more attention and this is correct, to the Latin American vector in its foreign policy. In this sense, the role of Cuba for us is extremely important and very great". "A visit to Cuba and Canada without passing through the United States looks somehow strange, if, of course, there won't be a surprise stop between the two visits," said Vladimir Lukin, a deputy speaker in the Russian State Duma and a former Russian ambassador in Washington to Reuters. "Taking into account the current (presidential election) situation in the United States, it reminds me of a cavalry raid into the adversary's rear lines."

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