Top Putin ally visits Cuba, meets president and Raul Castro, Tass reports

Russia's Security Council Secretary Patrushev attends a meeting of Defence Ministry Board in Moscow
Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev attends an annual meeting of the Defence Ministry Board in Moscow, Russia, December 21, 2022. Sputnik/Sergei Fadeichev/Pool via REUTERS

March 1 (Reuters) - A top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Cuba on Wednesday and held talks with President Miguel Diaz-Canel as well as former Communist Party leader Raul Castro, Tass news agency said.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Diaz-Canel and Castro discussed international problems and how to deepen bilateral cooperation, Tass cited the council's press service as saying.

Last month, Russia gave Cuba an "emergency" donation of 25,000 tonnes of wheat to combat shortages on the island, a sign of deepening relations between the two long-time allies.

Russia, hit by Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, is looking to strengthen political and economic ties with other countries opposed to what it calls U.S. hegemony.

Earlier this week, Patrushev visited Venezuela and Algeria.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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