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26 Nov, 2008 17:19

Russia and Brazil agree to visa-free travel

Russians and Brazilians will now be able to visit each other’s countries without having to obtain visas. The deal was reached as President Medvedev paid his first official visit to the Latin American country.

The Russian leader and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva held talks in on Wednesday.

Both presidents welcomed the agreement on the abolition of visas during brief trips by the citizens of Russia and Brazil, saying it’ll give a powerful boost to the expansion of contacts between the countries. It will take about one year to make all the preparations.   

A number of other agreements to boost military, aerospace and hi-tech cooperation were also signed.

“We are witnessing a new stage in the development of Russo-Brazilian relations and I hope they will grow stronger. Brazil ranks first as the biggest trade partner of Russia in Latin America and is among our main trade partners in general,” said Medvedev.

Referring to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's words that trade turnover between Russia and Brazil had reached $US 6 billion dollars, the president said that “there are chances to increase it this year and reach about $US 10 billion shortly.”

The sides couldn’t avoid discussions of the world crisis and the difficulties it has created or the additional opportunities it has opened up, including the creation of a new structure of financial relations.

The two leaders also agreed that the Brazilian president will pay a return visit to Moscow, the date of which will be confirmed later.