Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday offered his condolences to Cuba after the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death at 90.
"The name of this outstanding statesman is considered to be a symbol of an era in the modern history of the world," Putin wrote in a telegram to Castro’s brother, Cuban President Raul Castro, according to a translation of a statement released by the Kremlin.
Putin said Cuba under Castro's communist rule “served as an inspiring example for many countries and peoples."
"Fidel Castro was a sincere and reliable friend of Russia. He made an enormous contribution to the formation and development of Russian-Cuban relations, close strategic cooperation in all fields."
Raul Castro made a brief appearance on state TV late Friday night to announce his brother’s death.
The former communist leader's heath had been failing for several years, and his brother took control of the government in 2008.
Fidel Castro led the Cuban Revolution, taking power in 1959.