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Medvedev finished his Latin America Tour in Cuba

Medvedev arrived there for talks with Raul Castro, but akso had opportunity to meet the iconic former Cuban leader Fidel Castro

Medvedev finished his Latin America Tour in Cuba

The meeting was the last public engagement of Medvedev's Latin American tour meant to forge stronger ties with neighbors of the United States. It marked the first visit to Cuba, a former Cold War ally, by a Russian president in eight years.

The countries cooperate on issues of oil, nickel, telecommunications, biotechnology and tourism, although no new deals were to be forged on this trip.

Relations between Cuba and Russia had been distant after the collapse of the Soviet Union but were renewed by a visit by Vladimir Putin in 2000.

But Putin's decision to close a Russian spy base in Lourdes, south of Havana, in 2001, created a new chill in relations that lasted until 2007, when Moscow showed a new interest in Latin America.

Medvedev's visit follows an accelerated process of reconciliation, including new deals on military, energy, telecommunications and transport ties.

Medvedev's current Latin America tour was billed as an effort to boost trade, despite the world economic slowdown, but was also seen as a rebuff to US moves in formally Communist-ruled parts of Europe, such as planned missile defense facilities.

Author: Ksenia Kochneva

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