Russia has agreed to help Cuba modernize the railway network. The total cost of the project, which will be carried out with loan money and will amount to 2 billion euro, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told TASS.
Borisov said that the implementation of the project will take seven years and it will play a key role in the economy of Cuba”. “We agreed to break it down into two phases, optimize required loan resources, and we will begin specific work on the project soon,” he said.
In addition, Moscow and Havana agreed to develop a program to improve the energy efficiency of the Cuban infrastructure, which, according to the deputy prime minister, will be aimed at preventing the repetition of the Venezuelan scenario in Cuba.
“The goal of this program is to avoid dependency on oil supplies. This is connected, among other things, with hedging the risks of the events that are now taking place in Venezuela,” Borisov said.
As reported by TASS, loans and the participation of Russian companies in the Cuban energy market were discussed at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade, economic and scientific and scientific-technical cooperation.
Among other things, Russia will restore the fleet of Cuban airlines (Il-96, Tu-204, An-158) and create a service center for repairing aircraft in Cuba, Borisov said.
“We have determined the necessary volumes, spare parts and terms of repair and have prepared agreements and contracts. Everything has passed to the practical stage and I consider that the Cuban fleet will be re-established in 2019. We agreed in the future to work on creating a services center in Cuba dedicated to the aviation fleet in order to avoid a repetition of a negative situation,” he said.
Cuba was the largest debtor of the former USSR until 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote off 90% of the debt, $ 31.7 billion out of $ 35.2 billion.