President of Brazil Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva: Dear President of Russia, dear members of the Russian and Brazilian delegations, dear friends,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome Vladimir Putin to Brazil. This is the first visit by a Russian head of state to our country. We are opening new horizons for our relations. When I took office as President of Brazil, I said that I would make closer relations with Russia a priority, and today we have the opportunity of taking concrete action on this. This is reflected in the agreements that we signed today. This is confirmation of our desire to improve our cooperation for the benefit of our countries.
I would like to thank the Vice President of Brazil Jose Alencar and the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov for their work in the High-Level Commission. They have achieved a great deal, right from the time of the first talks, all of which is now embodied in the agreements just signed.
Vladimir Putin and I discussed many different aspects of our bilateral relations and also international issues. We held a meeting with our ministers and top officials at which we discussed various issues of cooperation between Brazil and Russia. We agreed to deepen and diversify our relations and to make use of opportunities for cooperation in the areas of science and technology.
Cooperation in the space sector is an excellent example of the potential for our work together. With Russian support, Brazil is confidently beginning work at the Alcantara space launch centre. May this be a tribute to the memory of those Brazilians who have devoted their lives to pursuing this dream. We will develop the technology that will put us at the forefront of strategic development and will improve our economic situation.
We need to develop our relations in other sectors too, not just the space sector. The agreements we have signed on cooperation in the areas of science and technology will have applications in all the different sectors of our economies. I congratulated President Putin on Russia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. This is a decision of great significance because, starting from 2005, this document will be of immense importance in protecting the environment while at the same time enabling us to make productive use of other kinds of energy.
We spoke about how to make use of the possibilities offered by Russia’s economic growth to create new opportunities for our relations.
Trade between our two countries reached a figure of $2 billion in 2004. The memorandum signed between the Brazilian National Bank for Social and Economic Development, Vnesheconombank and Vneshtorgbank will enable us to increase this figure. The size of our countries, our natural resources, populations and our advances in various areas, including in technology, all open up new opportunities for closer relations.
The commercial agreements we have reached give Brazilian entrepreneurs good conditions for developing cooperation with their Russian colleagues in order to diversify our relations.
The cultural agreement we signed will help reduce the distance betwee our countries. I know that Brazilian TV series are very popular in Russia. The Bolshoi Theatre Ballet School in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina is the Bolshoi Theatre’s only ballet school outside Russia. This enables Brazilians to share in the traditions of Russian culture.
Ladies and gentlemen!
President Putin and I agree that we must make use of the understanding that exists between Russia and Brazil at all different levels of international life in order to improve political and economic relations.
I therefore wish to thank President Putin for the support that Russia has given Brazil as a candidate for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. This gesture is especially significant as we are all now talking more and more about the need to improve the way the United Nations is organised and functions. The creation of the Group of Four, which includes Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, and the representatives of various African candidate countries, will give a boost to efforts to improve world security.
Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation, with the full support of Brazil, will make the international commercial system more balanced.
Our desire is for a better world, a world that must show solidarity. We are therefore very pleased to see that Russia is joining the international community’s efforts to battle hunger and poverty. We are also fighting terrorism and the consequences that it leads to.
I would like to express our most sincere condolences to President Putin over the events in Beslan. We understand just how great a misfortune is terrorism, which causes the suffering of innocent people. Of course, those who are fighting terrorism should receive full support from the international community.
The agreements we signed set out clearly the strategic directions in which we will work and the practical side of our relations.
What was probably most valuable in our dialogue was the confirmation of the values that we share: peace, democratic principles, balanced development and human rights.
I have accepted President Putin’s invitation to visit Russia. This visit will enable us to continue our dialogue and bring our countries even closer together.
Thank you very much.
President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour for me to be the first Russian head of state in history to visit your wonderful country.
Brazil is Latin America’s biggest country. It is growing fast and is deservedly seen as one of the leaders in the modern world.
Russia and Brazil are moving confidently towards creating a special relationship, a special partnership. I hope that today’s talks with my friend President Lula da Silva will mark an important stage on the road to developing our relations yet further.
When we visited the National Congress today, where we had a very good discussion, the deputies warned us to be careful with their bureaucrats. But these fears proved ill-founded; they are typical of all deputies in all countries. We are very satisfied with the results of our work together today. We have signed a joint declaration which reflects our common position on the need to reinforce the United Nations. As President Lula da Silva just said, we are firmly committed to joining forces to fight challenges and threats such as terrorism, organised crime and arms and drugs trafficking. I am sure that our cooperation with Brazil will help us find solutions to such problems as hunger, poverty and other serious social ills.
In this context, we focused above all on economic cooperation. I fully agree with my colleague, Mr Lula, that a trade figure of $2 billion is only the beginning in our economic work together, and I think we will have the chance very soon to double and triple this figure. It is very pleasing to see what interest our business communities have for each other. The Russia-Brazil Business Forum that took place in Sao Paulo on November 16 was an excellent illustration of this interest. I hope that the Russia-Brazil Business Council that was established during the forum will come to play a significant part in our cooperation.
But trade is not the only economic area in which we can cooperate. We discussed the idea of creating a technological alliance that would consolidate Russia and Brazil’s wide-ranging scientific and human resources. We are ready to develop long-term cooperation in high technology and science-intensive fields. This includes sectors such as aircraft building, energy, space and military-technical cooperation. We have already set up the cooperation mechanisms we need in these areas. We have the Russian-Brazilian High-Level Commission on Cooperation and the intergovernmental trade and economic commission and science and technology commission that are a part of it.
It is very important for us to create the necessary legal foundation for our relations. Today we signed many agreements. One of them, I think, is particularly significant – the convention on avoiding double taxation.
Of course, we should also not forget about cooperation in humanitarian areas. I was pleased to hear President Lula speak so positively about the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet School in Joinville. I want to say that Russians have always been very interested in Brazil’s diverse, interesting and original culture, which is, of course, about more than just TV series and festivals. I can assure you that if our specialists work closer together with each other, we will be able to create an excellent environment in which to develop our cooperation both on the political stage and in the economy.
We in Russia have always been particularly fond of Brazil and its people and it makes us very happy to see that there is a mutual desire for closer relations.
I would like to thank the Brazilian leadership, all our colleagues and President Lula da Silva for the attention they are giving relations between our countries.
Thank you for your attention.