The visit of Vice Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas to Russia reflects the importance for Cuba to develop relations with nations that have a genuine interest in collaboration.
The meetings which took place included discussions of Cuba’s status as an observer of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), many meetings with political authorities, and the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission, all focused on the importance of the bilateral relations between the Island and Russia.
According to Cuba’s Ambassador to Russia, Julio Garmendía Peña, there are cooperation and business projects in the strategic areas of metallurgy, iron and steel, rail and automotive transport, energy, banking, educational collaboration, science and biopharmaceuticals.
Among them,there are projects such as the modernization and rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure, with investments of more than one billion Euros. This project aims not only to modernize the railways but also to automate, create and modernize workshops, import locomotives and passenger cars, some of which are already in process.
It is expected that as a result of these investments, the Cuban railroad will double the speed of train transportation, which will result in increased efficiency.
However, it is in the area of energy that the largest investments are made. Russia is working with Cuba in the installation of four energy blocks of 200 MW each to be installed in the western region (Mariel 1 and Santa Cruz 3). This investment is valued at approximately 2.5 billion Euros. It aims to increase energy capacity to guarantee future development.
The development of the electric energy project is integrated with other renewable energy sources such as the bioelectric power plant built at a sugar mill with a capacity of 130 MW. and the more than 15 photovoltaic parks that are being built in different locations throughout the Island.
This November Russia and Cuba will hold the 18th Session of the Intergovernmental Commission. Preparations for this meeting are in the works.