The Miami Herald
January 13, 2002

Trade among topics of trip to Russia by Brazil leader

 MOSCOW -- (AFP) -- Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso will discuss trade, space and military-technical cooperation during a three-day visit to Moscow that begins today, Russian media reported.

 The two countries' trade relations have never been as intensive as now, Cardoso told the ITAR-TASS news agency in a dispatch from Rio de Janeiro.

 The Russian economic development and trade ministry, quoted by ITAR-TASS, said commercial exchanges were 50 percent up in 2001 than a year earlier, totaling nearly $ 1.5 billion.

 The balance was largely in Brazil's favor, with Russian exports totaling $423 million and imports amounting to $1,015 million.

 In a letter to Cardoso last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was determined to continue an active dialogue with Brazil across ``the whole spectrum of international issues.''

 He said Moscow attached ``great importance to establishing a genuine partnership'' with Brazil, with the January meeting ``doubtless helping with this.''

 Cardoso told ITAR-TASS that Brazil viewed Russia as a strategic partner in international affairs.

 He cited their common views on several international issues, notably the Middle East, Kashmir and the need to strengthen the prestige of the United Nations and its
 Security Council.

 The deputy head of the Russian Space Agency's international cooperation department, Vyacheslav Lisitsin, said cooperation in space research would feature in the talks, after Brazil ``offered to cooperate with us in the commercial use of its Alcantara cosmodrome.''

 Cardoso's visit to Moscow follows an invitation issued by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov during a visit to Brasilia in mid-December.

 He is due to travel on to the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

                                    © 2002