Mon Feb 2, 2009 5:36pm GMT
By Michael Stott and Gleb Bryanski
MOSCOW, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro hailed the "very positive" results of his visit to Moscow, the first by a Cuban leader since the Cold War, after winning aid pledges of $354 million.
"I think we are leaving very satisfied," Castro, 77, said at the start of talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, part of an eight-day trip to Moscow to help revive ties that waned after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The head of the Finance Ministry's State Debt Department, Konstantin Vyshkovsky, told Reuters Russia had agreed to provide Havana with $270 million in soft loans, mostly to buy and lease Russian agricultural and construction machinery.
"We are not giving any money to Cuba. It is not typical in our policy to issue loans. Our common rule is support for domestic producers, exporters," Vyshkovky said, declining to say which manufacturers will supply the equipment.
Another $37 million worth of Russian grain will be given to Havana as aid, Vyshkovsky said. On top of that, he confirmed a report that state bank VEB would provide $47 million to sell a Russian-built cargo plane to Cuba.