Two An-124 Ruslan planes of the military transport aviation of the Russian Aerospace Force arrived in Cuba on Sunday night with humanitarian cargo, an on-site TASS correspondent reported.
Both aircraft landed at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. Overall, the planes delivered over 88 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including meat, flour, vegetable oil and 1 mln protective masks.
The aid to Cuba was sent on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The cargo was received by Russian Ambassador to Havana Andrey Guskov and Cuba’s Domestic Commerce Minister Betsy Diaz Velazquez.
"This is a manifestation of solidarity with the people and the government of the Island of Freedom which is in a difficult situation due to the trade-financial blockade on the part of the US and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. We are also in close touch with the Cuban side with regards to the needs in the sphere of pharmaceuticals," the Russian diplomat told journalists.
The domestic commerce minister thanked Russia for delivering the humanitarian aid during the difficult period. "Our people accept this initiative with joy and gratitude because Cuban families need such aid in order to continue fighting the pandemic that affected all country’s provinces," the official noted.
This is not the first Russian delivery of the humanitarian aid to Cuba - in April, within the framework of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Russia supplied to Cuba 253 tonnes of vegetable oil and 430 tonnes of flour totaling about $1 mln.