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Putin, Fidel Castro meet in Havana

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Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in Havana. (Source: CBS) Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in Havana. (Source: CBS)

HAVANA (CBS) - Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up his Cuba visit on Friday with a meeting with former president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

The leaders' conversation lasted for one hour as they discussed bilateral relations, international affairs and the global economy, according to the Kremlin's website.

Ending his Havana visit, the Russian leader was accompanied to Havana's international airport by President Raul Castro.

Earlier, Putin had signed deals with Castro to forgive 90 percent of Cuba's debt, almost $32 billion, as well as discussed a deal to explore for oil off Cuba's northern coast. The remaining 10 percent will be spent by Havana on local investment projects selected with Russian input.

The measure injects much-needed foreign investment into Cuba and demonstrates an act of defiance against the United States, which maintains a 52-year-old economic embargo that effectively shuts out many Western companies from doing business in Cuba.

Putin's journey to the backyard of the United States comes as he is under pressure from the West to help restrain pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and urge them to find a negotiated solution.

Putin will travel later to Argentina and to Brazil, where he is to attend the final World Cup match and ceremonial handover of host duties.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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