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Brazil, Russia enhance ties in defense, agriculture


16:48, February 21, 2013

BRASILIA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Brazil and Russia agreed on Wednesday to negotiate the purchase of Russia's anti-aircraft defense systems, jointly develop defense products and transfer technology to Brazilian defense companies without restrictions.

The agreement was reached during the talks between Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and visiting Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who arrived in Brazil on Wednesday for a three-day visit.

Brazil is interesting in buying Russia's medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 combined missile and artillery batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles, in part to beef up security during the World Cup soccer tournament next year and the 2016 Olympic Games. Contract negotiations are expected to begin in March.

The two countries have sought to deepen defense cooperation since they signed a Strategic Partnership Action Plan in December during Rousseff's visit to Moscow. Under the document, Brazil and Russia will strengthen cooperation in defense industry and training while setting up partnership for the purchase of defense systems.

During their talks on Wednesday, the two leaders also agreed to exchange information on organizing major sporting events. Russia is to host 2014 Winter Olympics and the World Cup in 2018.

In addition, Russia agreed to collaborate with Brazil's "Science Without Borders" scholarship program by opening slots in graduate and post-graduate courses for Brazilian students in Russia.

On agriculture, the two countries sealed two agreements to eliminate trade barriers for Brazil to sell soy bran for animal feed in Russia and establish phytosanitary measures for Russian wheat exports to Brazil.

During their talks, Medvedev and Rousseff also discussed the ongoing global financial crisis and the political unrest in Syria, according to official sources from the Brazilian presidency.

As a sign of the two countries drawing closer, Brazil on Tuesday became the first country outside Russia to host a monitoring station for the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS, a global positioning system that uses 24 satellites.

After his visit to Brazil, Medvedev will continue to travel to Cuba, where he will meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro for broader trade ties.

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