December 11, 2023

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War in Ukraine | Lavrov thanks Cuba for ‘full understanding’

(Havana) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thanked the Cuban government for its “full understanding” of the conflict in Ukraine at the start of a visit to the island that will conclude his Latin American tour in Havana on Thursday.

“Since the beginning of the special military operation, we appreciate the fact that our Cuban friends […] “Clearly expressed their position and full understanding in assessing the reasons that led to the current situation,” Lavrov said during a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, according to the Russian Affairs Ministry’s Telegram account.

The US Embassy on the waterfront was lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag during the visit of the Russian diplomatic chief in Havana on Wednesday evening.

Lavrov, who met with President Miguel Diaz-Canel and his predecessor Raul Castro on Thursday, condemned the “illegal and illegal” US embargo against Cuba and said his country was “subject to US sanctions”. […] Long before current events.

Cuba has been under an economic embargo from Washington for more than 60 years, which Donald Trump tightened when he came to power in 2017, and his successor, Joe Biden, has not reversed these sanctions. Since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it has been subject to sanctions by the United States, Canada and the European Union.

“Illegal Punishments”

Lavrov noted at a press conference that since Miguel Diaz-Canel’s visit to Russia in November, Cuba had “made a lot of progress, especially in fuel and food supplies.”

Russian Foreign Ministry photo via Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

The Cuban leader, the only candidate to be re-elected to a second and final five-year term on Thursday, is facing its worst economic crisis in three decades, with severe shortages of food, medicine and fuel. He solicited support during an international tour that took him to Algeria, Turkey and China.

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Upon his return, he signed several oil supply agreements with Russia and Algeria, but fuel shortages continue on the island.

Mr. Diaz-Canel believes his crude suppliers are facing a “complicated energy situation” and are not honoring their obligations.

Mr. Lavrov assured him, “Decisions that reliably protect the plans of both countries are being implemented. […] In the face of illegal Western sanctions.

Mr. Lavrov wrapped up a tour of the Caribbean island that began in Brazil on Monday, then took him to Venezuela and Nicaragua, during which he pleaded for “unity” to resist “black mail and illegal unilateral pressure from the West.”