Russia, Brazil forge strategic partnership

09:53, May 15, 2010      

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) speaks during the joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, Russia, May 14, 2010. The presidents of Russia and Brazil touched upon a wide range of bilateral issues during their two-day talks in the Kremlin, Russian media reported Friday. (Xinhua Photo)

Russian and Brazilian presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva finished their two-day talks here Friday during which they discussed a wide range of bilateral deals and international relations, news agencies reported.

Lula, who arrived in Moscow Thursday, met with his Russian counterpart Medvedev for the second time in a month after a summit of the BRIC nations in Brasilia in April.


Russia and Brazil signed a "strategic partnership plan" that embraced programs covering agriculture, military cooperation and humanitarian issues, the two presidents told reporters during a joint press conference Friday.

In particular, Moscow and Brazilia will create a working group to prepare a scheme of payments between the two countries in their national currencies.

The two leaders also signed agreements on co-operation in the areas of international information and communication security, as well as on protection of intellectual property copyright.

The two countries adopted a program of scientific and technical co-operation for 2010-2012. Within this agreement, Brazil could join the Russian-designed GLONASS satellite global navigation system, the analog competitor of the U.S.-designed GPS.

Separately, the leaders promised to make travel for their respective nationals visa-free effective from June 7, thus completing a process of easing visa requirements started a year and a half ago.

Visa-free travel is expected to enhance the business climate in both countries, as will the direct Moscow-Rio de Janeiro regular commercial flights due to commence in 2011 by Russia's Transaero Airways.

Local experts said Russia currently had a negative trade balance with Brazil. In 2008, Russian exports amounted to 2 billion U.S. dollars while imports stood at 4.7 billion dollars.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who also took part in the talks with Lula, said, due to the global crisis, trade between the two countries declined last year. However, he said, "in general, our relations are on the rise."


Medvedev used the talks as an opportunity to stress once again his country's position on various international problems, mainly on the nuclear program that Iran has been developing.

"The international community has little division concerning Iran's nuclear program. The approaches to the issue have been shared with the majority of states," Medvedev told Friday's joint press conference.

He believed the Iranian nuclear program should have solely peaceful purposes, must be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran must cooperate with the international community and follow the rules of nuclear technology's non-proliferation.

"If these conditions are met, we don't mind if Iran will take its place among the countries which conduct their own nuclear research," he said.

According to Medvedev, the group of six states mediating on the issue has a "consolidated position".

Moscow enjoys "deep, serious, mutually profitable relations" with Tehran and Russia "feels her responsibility" because of it, he said.

Lula said he would try to use all his power of persuasion during his upcoming visit to Tehran to elicit future dialogue.

The tension between Iran and the international community reignited after Iran's nuclear agency formally informed the IAEA that the country had started enriching uranium itself.

The United States and other Western countries suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program and are seeking new sanctions following Iran's move to enrich uranium to 20 percent. Iran, however, has denied all such charges and has repeatedly said that its new program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Source: Xinhua
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