Putin kicks off Latin America tour with Cuba stop
Russia's Vladimir Putin visits Cuba in 1st stop on Latin America tour touching on trade, ties
Associated Press
2014-07-11 10:42 PM

HAVANA (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun a six-day Latin American tour seeking to boost trade and ties in the region.

Putin arrived early Friday in Havana and was greeted at the airport by Cuba's vice president. He's expected to meet with President Raul Castro and former leader Fidel Castro.

Russia is nearing final ratification of forgiving 90 percent of Cuba's Soviet-era debt, totaling more than $35 billion. The remaining 10 percent will be spent by Havana on local investment projects selected with Russian input.

Putin will travel later to Argentina and to Brazil, where he is to attend the final World Cup match and ceremonial handover of host duties. The next edition of soccer's marquee tournament takes place in Russia in 2018.

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