Rousseff, Putin take stock of trade ties in Ufa

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff being welcomed to the Russian city of Ufa by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 8 July 2015 [PPIO]

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff being welcomed to the Russian city of Ufa by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 8 July 2015 [PPIO]

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday held talks with her Russian counterpart in the Russian city of Ufa, which was once a fortress built on the orders of Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible.

“First of all, I would like to note that our relations are developing quite positively and we are seeing regular contacts in nearly all areas, including in the parliamentary dimension,” Putin told Rousseff.

In 2014, Brazil-Russia trade grew by 15 per cent.

Putin noted that although “in the first quarter of this year, we have seen a slight decline, but I am confident that our trade growth will continue”.

The Russian President also told his Brazilian counterpart that they must settle trade in their respective currencies as the BRICS work to reinforce the clout of the world’s largest emerging markets on a global stage.

“We certainly need to do more in terms of investment cooperation; we need to work toward the possible use of national currencies in our trade and economic ties and continue work in the high-tech sectors, such as aviation and space exploration,” he added.

Russia signed a massive currency swap deal for three years with China worth $24.4 billion in December.

China and Brazil also have a swap line of about $30 billion in place following a 3-year agreement signed between the central banks.

Beijing is keen on substituting the US dollar with the yuan in all of China’s trade with other countries. The Chinese currency now trades directly with the Japanese yen, the Australian dollar, the Brazilian real, the EU’s euro, the New Zealand dollar and many other currencies.

Putin also lauded Russia-Brazil space and technology cooperation, including Brazil’s increasing use of Glonass, Russia’s challenger to the US’ GPS.

“We are grateful to you that two Brazilian stations are already using the GLONASS system and now, we will agree on creating a complex for tracking space debris – an extremely important issue not only for Russia and Brazil, but for nearly all participants in international communications and those working in space,” the Kremlin quoted Putin.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira told Russian state agency Sputnik on Wednesday that Brazil does not support the Western sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict.

Brazil “considers unilateral sanctions [against Russia] a tool the legitimacy of which is questionable,” said Viera.

The five leaders from BRICS countries, which include Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa, will seek to reiterate a message during their summit on Thursday that existing financial architecture is inappropriate to deal with the world’s main challenges.

The BRICS, which account for 43 per cent of the world’s population, have called for an overhaul of management of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to give the rising economic powers a stronger voice.


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