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Raul Castro Visits Russia

Cuban President Raul Castro is in Russia on a week-long official visit aimed at boosting ties between the former Cold War allies.

Mr. Castro is expected to meet Thursday with his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev, at the Russian leader's country residence just outside Moscow.

Cuba and Russia are also expected to sign several cooperation agreements.

This is the first trip to Russia by a Cuban leader since 1986, when Mr. Castro's brother, Fidel Castro, traveled to Moscow. President Medvedev traveled to Cuba last November in a bid to bolster ties in Latin America.

The Russian leader said he believes Mr. Castro's visit will strengthen development of relations between their two countries.

Last year, Russia signed a $20 million trade agreement with Cuba to expand economic cooperation.

The Soviet Union was Cuba's main benefactor during the Cold War, but the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 battered Cuba's economy and strained relations between Havana and Moscow.