Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff talk July 14 at Planalto Palace in Brasilia . (Evaristo Sa / AFP)
BRASILIA, BRAZIL — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday that Brasilia was keen on obtaining air defenses from Moscow and cooperating on nuclear energy.
Putin’s visit is part of an ambitious Latin American tour that has already taken him to Cuba and Argentina as he seeks to shore up support for his policies amid a showdown with the West in Ukraine.
Brazil reiterated its interest in acquiring Russian air defenses and cooperate in areas like the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Rousseff told Putin.
“We emphasized the importance of cooperation in defense and in the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” Rousseff told reporters while standing alongside Putin after their meeting at the Planalto Palace.
“Our countries are among the largest in the world, and we cannot be satisfied with being dependent in the middle of the 21st century,” Rousseff said.
“It is essential that we seek scientific and technological autonomy.”
Putin hailed Brazil as Russia’s “greatest partner” in Latin America, saying they were united on “key international issues.”
Both countries aim to “increase their industrial potential, particularly as concerns technology” as part of joint initiatives, he added.
The two leaders signed military, economic, technology and health agreements.
On Tuesday, Putin will participate in a summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.
He attended the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro won by Germany over Argentina.
Russia will host the football extravaganza in 2018 and has pledged to spend billions of dollars on stadiums and infrastructure for the tournament.