20 February 2013, 10:09

PM Medvedev begins visit to Brazil

PM Medvedev begins visit to Brazil

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has begun a visit to Brazil. Later today, he is scheduled to meet with the Brazilian leader, Dilma Rousseff, to take up partnership in trade and the economy, science, energy and other fields.

Medvedev will chair a meeting of the high-level bilateral commission on cooperation jointly with the Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer, and will meet big business representatives.

The Russian Prime Minister is due to end his visit to the Latin American country on the 21st of this month. Medvedev will then leave Brasilia for Havana for talks with the Cuban leadership.

Medvedev's Latin America tour: new level of partnership relations

Anna Forostenko, Alexei Lyakhov

Russia is about to reach a new level of partnership relations with Latin American countries. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev plans to visit Brazil and Cuba on February 20th to 22nd. Important agreements and commercial contracts will be signed during these visits.

Latin America is playing an important role in the modern world. To a great extent it is caused by the fact that it is rich in natural resources. Nearly 20 per cent of mineral resources are concentrated in the Latin American countries which occupy 15 per cent of the world’s land. Besides, Latin America that survived the 2008 crisis with less losses than other countries is now showing good economic results.

Let’s take Brazil and Cuba. These two countries are of great significance for Russia. The boom of contacts between Moscow and Havana became visible during the Soviet-era times. Then Russia and Cuba experienced a difficult period in their relationships. However, now the situation is gradually becoming normalized, Professor Boris Martynov from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) says.

"Cuba’s geopolitical situation is beneficial for the world trade. Cuba has excellent ports. It enables supertankers to easily call at its ports. The areas of cooperation between Russia and Cuba are energy sector and transport machine building."

In Cuba Russia’s Prime Minister plans to hold talks with Cuba’s State Council Chairman and Prime Minister Raul Castro. They are expected to focus on the development of bilateral relations.

What links Russia and Brazil is a bilateral programme of cooperation. The reports that appeared earlier this month say that the two countries plan to sign a contract worth 1.5 billion for the supplies of the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile and gun systems and the transportable Igla anti-aircraft missiles. During the talks between the two countries’ leaders – Vladimir Putin and Dilma Rousseff – last December new ways of interaction in the field of trade were discussed. The 6th session of the top-level Russian-Brazilian commission for cooperation with the participation of Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will add more to the interaction between the two countries. Besides, Medvedev plans to meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Russia and Brazil have broad prospects for joint projects, Director of the Institute of Latin America Vladimir Davydov says.

"I think that we have good prospects for cooperation in nuclear power production, in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and in space as well. I believe that Russia can offer engineering services to Brazil and that Brazil can do the same in other areas. We can be mutually complementary."

Experts say that the characteristic feature of the Russia-Brazil interaction is the fact that the two countries have similar views on a number of political issues. Regarding Brazil, this is reflected in the work with the BRICS countries the member of which Brazil is. There is reason to believe that a single stand on certain issues can serve as an example for other countries too, Boris Martynov says.

"New sites of interaction in Latin America, in the countries of the Asia and Pacific Region, and in Africa are beneficial for Russia, and numerous documents concerning bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Russia’s participation offer proof of this. We practically have similar views on the approaches to relevant issues. This is very rare in modern policy."

Experts say that the activization of economic relations with Latin America is on the agenda of many countries today. And as regards Russia, it has acquired a great experience in this field and has serious plans for the future.

Voice of Russia, RIA, TASS

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