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Russia Writes Off 90% of Cuba Debt as Putin Meets Castros

Russia agreed to write off 90 percent, or almost $32 billion, of Cuba’s Soviet-era debt as President Vladimir Putin visited the Caribbean island to broker energy deals and renew ties with Raul and Fidel Castro.

Russia’s Rosneft OAO, Inter RAO and RusHydro all signed accords with Cuban counterparts at a ceremony in Havana today. The Inter RAO deal on four energy generation units with Cuba’s Union Electrica is valued at 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion), Putin said. The accords came after Putin signed a law waiving 90 percent of Cuba’s Soviet-era debt. The accord was passed by Russia’s lower house on July 4 and approved by the upper chamber two days ago.