The Cuban leadership has pronounced its desire to become Russia's reliable ally. Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Angel Dalmau said in an interview with the RIA Novosti correspondent that Habana aspires for collaboration with Russia and "is doing its best to boost its ties with Moscow in all spheres, related to both politics and economy." According to the diplomat, "Cuba sees Russia as a major player on the international arena" and is going to support Russia's foreign policy. Dalmau noted that Cuba did not forget the historical ties with Russia which had once been "vital" for his country. He said that regretfully "a large part of bilateral economic and trade relationships had been torn". At the same time, according to the Deputy Foreign Minister, the recent visit to Cuba by Russian President Vladimir Putin had been crucial for activation of the two countries' cooperation. Dalmau said that Cubans "highly appreciated" the results of Putin's visit.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969