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PIR Center Special Advisor Vladimir Orlov Visits Cuba

27.07.2016

JULY 27, 2016, HAVANA. PIR PRESS — “I attach high priority to the deepening of dialogue between the expert communities of Russia and Cuba on key issues of international security, such as the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism prevention, and international information security,” PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor and Head of the Russian MFA Diplomatic Academy’s Center for Global Trends and International Organizations Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov emphasized, summarizing results of his recent trip to Cuba.

In Havana, Vladimir Orlov made a keynote speech at a seminar devoted to Russian foreign policy and an outlook on international security at the Centro de Investigaciones de Política Internacional (the Research Centre for International Policy, CIPI). He exchanged views with Cuban experts on a wide range of foreign policy and international security issues and answered numerous questions from the audience.

Vladimir Orlov was received by Dr. Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, the Scientific Advisor to the President of the State Council of the Republic of Cuba. At the meeting, international problems and the state of Russian-Cuban relations in the field of scientific and technological cooperation were in focus. Dr. Castro is responsible for the development of nano- and biotechnologies and in the past directed the Cuban nuclear energy program. Ambassador Mercedes Martinez Valdez, Director of the Russia department of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, and Lídice Gutierrez, Head of the Cuban State Council’s Department for International Cooperation in Science and Technology, also took part in the meeting.

Vladimir Orlov and Ambassador Isabel Allende, Director of the Raúl Roa Diplomatic Academy of Cuba, discussed the state of academic partnership. 

Vladimir Orlov met with the Russian ambassador to Cuba, Mikhail Kamynin.

In addition, Vladimir Orlov visited the Juraguá Nuclear Power Plant at Cienfuegos Province.

As Dr. Castro, Advisor to the President of the Cuban Council of State, noted in his book, the nuclear power plant at Juraguá became one of the most important construction projects ever conducted in Cuba. “The implementation of this most important part of the nuclear program had enormous significance for the development of the country. The capacity of the generators of the first two power units at the nuclear power plant in Juraguá should have exceeded 800 megawatts, or two times the capacity of all the power plants active in Cuba up to the year 1959. With the beginning of the construction of these two reactors, it was possible to decrease the consumption of more than 1.2 million tons of oil per year, which is comparable to the total national production of oil in the first half of the 1990’s,” wrote Dr. Castro. “The construction in Juraguá allowed the formation of the Cuban engineering elite and the establishment of a basis for the continued development of the country’s nuclear infrastructure, so that the country entered the 21st century not only with advances in biotechnology and nanotechnology, but also in the nuclear industry, providing the energy independence.”

Cooperation between PIR Center and the academic and scientific communities of Cuba dates back more than 15 years. 

Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart took part in international Moscow Nonproliferation Conferences, which were organized by PIR Center from 2000 to 2003. In the course of many years he has been an author of PIR Center’s publications. His articles “The Nuclear Path of Cuba” (in Russian), “Cuba — New Member of the NPT”, and “Some Remarks on the Role of Nuclear Energy Today” were published in the Russian and global editions of the Security Index (formerly Yaderny Kontrol) journal in Russian and in English, respectively. In 2008, Dr. Castro’s fundamental work, “Nuclear Energy: Threat to the Environment or Solution to 20th Century Energy Problems” was published in Russian. The book’s presentation took place on September 4, 2008 at the 21st Moscow International Book Fair. A review of the monograph was published in PIR Center’s Security Index Journal (in Russian).

In 2004, PIR Center held a Russian-Cuban academic seminar on “International Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Nonproliferation: Problems and Challenges” in Havana. Representatives from nongovernmental and academic research organizations and ministries and agencies from Cuba, Russia and Latin American countries participated in the seminar, namely: Sergio Duarte, Chairman of the 2005 NPT Review Conference; Colonel-General Evgeniy Maslin, member of the PIR Center Executive Board and former Chief of the 12th Chief Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense; Natalya Kalinina, then assistant to the Russian Prime Minister and member of PIR Center’s Executive Board; Filipe Roque, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba; Abelardo Moreno, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba; Dr. Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart; among others. The participants of the seminar discussed current issues of international security and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the interconnection of disarmament and development; the role of the UN in the global security system; and the fight against international terrorism. 

In April 2016, CIPI leading specialist Santiago Pérez Benítez presented a report on “New Priorities of Cuban Foreign Policy and Prospects of Russia-Cuba Relations” at a PIR Center roundtable in Moscow, co-sponsored with the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA.

After the trip to Cuba, PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor and Head of the Russian Diplomatic Academy’s Center for Global Trends and International Organizations Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov stated: “I attach high priority to the deepening of dialogue between the expert communities of Russia and Cuba on key issues of international security, such as the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism prevention, and international information security.”    

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