Russian PM in Brazil seeking arms, nuclear technology deals

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:35am EST
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By Alexei Anishchuk

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday on a visit to Brazil aimed at sealing defense and nuclear technology deals with a fellow member of the BRIC bloc of emerging nations.

On their agenda was the possible sale of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems to Brazil, a Brazilian government spokesman said.

Brazil is beefing up its air defenses ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament next year and the 2016 Olympic Games to ward off the threat of a terrorist attack during the global sporting events, which will draw massive crowds of foreigners.

Medvedev's trip follows a visit by Rousseff to Moscow in December that underlined the importance both countries attach to building relations among the BRIC club of emerging economies.

The BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have a combined GDP of $14.9 trillion and have become increasingly vocal in criticizing developed nations' hold over global economic policies.

Ties between Brazil and Russia have been strengthening and they want to raise annual trade turnover to $10 billion from the current $6.5 billion.

Moscow will tout its advanced energy expertise and technology aiming to get involved in Brazil's plans to build new nuclear power stations to meet surging demand for electricity that has overwhelmed its generating capacity.

"We would like to offer our participation in the construction of nuclear plants and would like to get an invitation to participate in (the upcoming) tender," a senior official in the Russian delegation said.   Continued...

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (R) shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino