Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 43

Russian president Boris Yeltsin yesterday praised a statement issued by the UN Security Council that "strongly deplored" the February 24 shooting down by Cuban fighter jets of two U.S. civilian aircraft. The UN statement was considerably milder than what the U.S. had sought, however, and Yeltsin’s remark reflected the warming relations between Havana and Moscow. During a Kremlin meeting with the president of Belarus, Yeltsin praised the Security Council for letting Washington "understand that it cannot declare war over every such incident," and he urged the United States not to overreact on the issue. (10)

Among the measures adopted by the Clinton administration to punish Cuba was a tightening of economic sanctions. But a Russian Foreign Ministry official said that the U.S. measures would in no way hinder trade relations between Cuba and Russia. Moscow intends to honor a three-year oil-for sugar-deal, he said, and is also determined to complete construction of a nuclear power station in Juragua, Cuba. That project still lacks some $600 million in funding, which Havana and Moscow are attempting to raise through the creation of an international consortium. Washington has long opposed completion of the power plant. (11)

Ankara Pleased with Russo-Turkish Economic Relations.