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    Cuba, Russia sign $150 mln loan deal

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    Moscow will grant a $150 million loan for two years to Cuba to finance deliveries of Russian construction and agricultural machinery and equipment.

    HAVANA, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow will grant a $150 million loan for two years to Cuba to finance deliveries of Russian construction and agricultural machinery and equipment.

    The Russian-Cuban loan agreement was signed in the course of a working visit to Havana by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on Tuesday.

    The two countries also signed a preliminary agreement on Russian oil company Zarubezhneft's operations in Cuba's exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

    "We consider that an outcome of this cooperation will be new opportunities both for Cuba as well as Zarubezhneft," said Sechin, who met with Cuban President Raul Castro and other officials during his visit.

    Trade ties between Russia and Cuba stalled after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Russia faced financial difficulties and halted huge Soviet-era subsidies.

    In recent years, however, Russia has moved to revitalize ties with Cuba, as well as other Latin American states. President Dmitry Medvedev visited Havana in November, and a Russian anti-submarine destroyer and two auxiliary vessels docked in Cuba in December.

     

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