Russia announced yesterday its decision to write-off 23 billion euros of Cuba’s Soviet-era debt . . . Moscow will restructure the remaining debt under a ten-year finance plan . . . at the same time, Moscow announced an agreement to lease eight jets worth $650 million to Cuba . . . Medvedev also met with Raul Castro to discuss increasing economic ties and improving trade relations between the two states . . . Russia is actively pursuing improved ties with Cuba as part of its effort to expand influence in Latin America . . . Russia has also discussed naval base rights with Cuba, and may be attempting to cement that deal . . . additionally, Russia is drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba, in hopes that it will discover new sources of petroleum.