Cuba not opposing citizens fighting on Russia's side in Ukraine: Amb.
Last week, the Cuban Interior Ministry arrested 17 people on suspicion of recruiting Cuban citizens to fight in the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Cuba's ambassador to Russia, Julio Antonio Garmendia Pena, said on Thursday that his country does not object to Cuban citizens participating in the Russian military operation in Ukraine, as long as their participation is in accordance with the law, Sputnik reported on Thursday.
Last week, the Cuban Interior Ministry arrested 17 people on suspicion of recruiting Cuban citizens to fight in the Russian military operation in Ukraine, according to Col. Cesar Rodriguez, head of the Cuban Investigation Directorate.
"We are not against Cubans who just want to sign a contract and join the Russian Armed Forces legally to take part in the operation. However, we object to illegality and the actions that have nothing to do with the legal field," the ambassador said, adding that this was about the "crooks and gangsters" who want to take advantage of the crisis to make money.
"We are talking about bad people who want to profit from such important issues as the special military operation and the relations between our countries, they want to earn money, fill their pockets with it, and go on with illegal activities," he added, noting that all the 17 detained were Cuban citizens.
The relationship between Cuba and Russia spans over decades and has continued to cooperate on a number of issues, including trade, military assistance, and diplomatic support.
On April 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that military cooperation between Russia and Cuba was developing successfully and that the two countries were negotiating a special loan for additional wheat supplies.
On June 3, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev conveyed to former Cuban President Raul Castro that Moscow appreciates Cuba's support to Russia against the hybrid war launched by the West and led by the United States and NATO.
On July 1st, Rossiya Airlines, a subsidiary of Aeroloft, reported it resumed conducting scheduled flights to Cuba after European countries banned it from operating in their airspace since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine.