A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official announced this Wednesday, February 11, in Moscow, that Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be visiting Russia twice this year.
The visits are part of the two emerging market countries' efforts to step up cooperation in world affairs and the global economy, as well as withstand the current financial crisis and promote bilateral trade.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visited Brazil last November as part of a policy to re-establish closer political and trade links with the region and particularly Brazil that is the largest economy in Latin America.
"We have two visits by the Brazilian president planned for this year," Alexei Yermakov said, speaking after a Russian-Brazilian business seminar, adding that Lula is scheduled to attend a summit of BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – possibly in the Urals, and has also plans for an official state visit.
The diplomat did not say when the visits would take place but earlier reports anticipated the BRIC summit would be held in June.
Last November Russia and Brazil that is in the process of overhauling its Armed Forces equipment, signed several agreements, including military technology cooperation and mutual visa-free travel for short trips.
Trade between Russia and Brazil reached US$ 6.7 billion last year, up 28% on 2007, and is expected to hit US$ 10 billion "in the near future," according to figures mentioned during discussions at the business seminar.
Brazil sends mostly agriculture produce, food, tobacco and some industrial goods while Russia supplies fertilizers, metals and machinery.