Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov and his Cuban counterpart yesterday signed a declaration of principles of mutual relations and a cultural and scientific cooperation accord for 1996-1998. During the signing Primakov said that relations with Cuba were a high priority for Moscow and that he had traveled to Havana "on direct instruction" from President Boris Yeltsin. "We have vast areas of common interests," he said. Primakov also went out of his way once again to criticize a U.S. law internationalizing U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba, and emphasized that in its relations with Havana Moscow would "be guided only by the interests" of Russia and Cuba. He also said that Russian policy toward Cuba was long-term and would not be altered by the results of Russia’s presidential election.
In addition to Cuba’s foreign minister, Primakov was to hold talks yesterday with the country’s foreign trade minister and the deputy chairman of the state council. It was unclear whether he would meet with Cuban president Fidel Castro. (Itar-Tass May 22)
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