Russia has agreed to write-off part of Cuba’s Soviet-era debt.
During a trip to Havana on Thursday, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev oversaw the deal between the two former Cold War allies.
Money owed to Moscow is worth almost 23 billion euros (30 billion US dollars). The preliminary agreement means Cuba will not have to pay the full amount back, and what is paid back will be restructured in a 10-year refinancing plan. Details will be finalised by the end of the year.
Medvedev met with Cuban leader Raul Castro to discuss strengthening economic ties and boosting trade between the two countries – which came to more than 150 million euros last year (200 million US dollars).
Russian oil companies are already drilling into Cuba’s offshore oil deposits.
Moving forward, Cuba will lease eight Russian aircraft – three Ilyushin-96-400 long-haul jets, three AN-158 regional planes and two TU-204SM mid-range aircraft. Moscow will guarantee a syndicate of Russian banks financing the deal.