Cuba Issues carefully worded statements on events in Ukraine

Photo by Yehor Milohrodskyi

28th February 2022

Cuba has issued a declaration calling for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine and a diplomatic solution “which guarantees the security and sovereignty of all”. 

In a 26 February statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) said that Cuba as ”a country that defends International Law and is committed to the Charter of the United Nations …. will always defend peace and oppose the use or threat of force against any State”. Minrex went on to say “We deeply regret the loss of life of innocent civilians in Ukraine. The Cuban people have had and have a close relationship with the Ukrainian people”. 

The declaration, the first to be issued by Cuba since Russian forces entered Ukraine, observed that it was not possible to “honestly examine the current situation in Ukraine without carefully assessing the just claims of the Russian Federation to the United States and NATO and the factors that have led to the use of force”.   

Although the statement observed that history will hold the US government accountable for the consequences of “an increasingly offensive military doctrine outside NATO’s borders, which threatens international peace, security and stability”, it did not directly criticise Russia.  

Instead, it proposed a “serious, constructive and realistic diplomatic solution to the current crisis in Europe, by peaceful means, which guarantees the security and sovereignty of all, as well as regional and international peace, stability and security”. 

In doing so, the foreign ministry noted that “Cuba subscribes to and vigorously supports” the observance of legal principles and international standards, which it said were “an essential reference, particularly for small countries, against hegemonism, abuses of power and injustices”. 

In an earlier statement issued on 22 February, the Cuban government had called on the US and NATO “to seriously and realistically address the well-founded claims for security guarantees of the Russian Federation”, but had until the weekend remained silent after Russian troops entered Ukraine, with state media principally using Russia’s RT coverage for news reporting.   

The first statement came on the same day that Russia’s State Duma (Lower House) agreed to allow Cuba to defer repayment of Russian-Cuban inter-government loans until 2027 (For details see Russia below). 

As previously reported by Cuba Briefing there has been an intensification of high-level contact in recent months between Moscow and Havana with President Putin stressing that Russia sees its relationship with Cuba as ‘strategic’. 

President Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine may have caused acute difficulties for Cuba as its  carefully crafted economic, political, and foreign trade policies seek to balance its international relationships between east and west. In the face of the US embargo, Havana continues to require the support of Russia and other Eurasian nations as well as that of China, Canada, Europe, and most Latin and Caribbean nations. It remains concerned about the further escalation of sanctions at a time of domestic economic hardship, cannot forget its close historic ties with Russia, but needs to retain the widespread international support it has achieved in defence of its independence and sovereignty. 

Minrex’s full February 26 declaration can be read in English at 

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