(Original title: Russia, Cuba negotiate $150M trade loan)
Moscow says it will negotiate a $150 million loan with Cuba for the purchase of Russian construction and agricultural machinery.
A resolution signed Monday by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructs the Russian Finance Ministry to talk with Cuba and sign an agreement for the loan on Russia’s behalf if a deal is reached, RIA Novosti reported.
The news agency said the loan would carry a 7 percent annual interest rate and, the resolution says, would be “signed for the purpose of further developing and strengthening friendly relations between the two countries and developing mutually advantageous cooperation.”
The huge subsidies Moscow provided to Cuba during the Soviet era have ended, and since then trade between the two countries has stalled, experts say. But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is trying to revive trade ties by visiting Havana in November, RIA Novosti reported.