On Monday, November 22, during the official visit of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that Brazil supports Russian membership in World Trade Organization.
“Russian membership in the WTO will help to forge a more balanced international system of commerce. It will give development a boost,” declared Lula.
The president of Brazil also thanked the Russian government for supporting Brazil’s quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Lula said that this year bilateral Brazil-Russia trade will exceed US$ 2 billion. So far this year, Brazil is running a surplus, with exports to Russia at US$ 1.16 billion, and imports of US$ 575 million. Brazil exports mainly sugar, beef, pork and poultry to Russia.
During the Putin visit, nine agreements were signed. Lula considered the agreement on joint space research the most important.
It calls for the development of a satellite launch vehicle with a liquid fuel. It is to be launched from the Alcântara Rocket Center in Maranhão.
The other agreements were on telecommunications market regulations, cultural cooperation for the period 2005-2007, assistance in training athletes for Olympic competitions for a three year period, exploration of natural gas and the commercialization of petroleum. The two countries also signed an agreement eliminating double taxation.
However, one issue of great interest to Brazil was not resolved during the visit. In September Russia banned imports of Brazilian beef, except from the state of Santa Catarina, after a case of foot and mouth disease was reported in the Amazon.
Attempts to lift the ban have not been successful so far. However, a Russian animal sanitation inspection team is in Brazil at the moment and will submit a report very soon.
Translator: Allen Bennett