HAVANA, Feb.19 (Xinhua) -- Russian Primer Minister Dmitri Medvedev is expected to arrive Thursday in Cuba on an official visit aimed at boosting trade diversification and joint industrial, pharmaceutical and energy projects, an official news source confirmed Tuesday.
Medvedev's agenda included meeting with Cuban leader Raul Castro to discuss greater economic cooperation between the two countries, online news site Cubadebate reported.
The Cuba visit is part of the Russian prime minister's Latin American tour, which will also take him to Brazil.
Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov announced Monday that Cuba and Russia planned to sign a cooperation agreement for joint research in outer space.
The agreement will promote Russian-Cuban cooperation in the fields of telecommunication, satellite navigation, space probe, space medicine and biology, as well as the training of Cuban personnel.
Cuba and Russia were close political and economic allies during the Cold War era, but relations cooled following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Starting from 2005, however, both governments have pursued closer collaboration and political ties.
Raul Castro visited Moscow on July 14, 2012 and met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Medvedev and the head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev.
Currently Russia is Cuba's ninth largest trade partner, with trade volume reaching 224 million U.S. dollars in 2011, according to the latest published figures.