The Russian and Brazilian presidents agreed at a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday to further develop cooperation.

Opening the meeting, Vladimir Putin called Brazil “one of the most important of Russia’s partners” in Latin America, noting that last year the trade between the two countries grew 87%.

Putin said Russia and Brazil successfully work on projects in hydro and nuclear energy, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and space exploration.

Putin thanked President Jair Bolsonaro for taking part in last year’s Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum and expressed hope a Brazilian delegation will visit this year as well.

He also said Russia and Brazil will continue cooperation in the framework of the BRICS group, an economic formation made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The two countries are developing humanitarian ties, opening cultural and educational establishments, and organizing student exchanges, he added.

On many international issues, Moscow and Brasilia have similar or coinciding views and promote a multipolar world based on the coordinating role of the United Nations.

For his part, Bolsonaro said he felt “a sense of solidarity with Russia.”

The two countries “have good prospects for cooperation in various areas, specifically defense, oil and gas, and agriculture,” he added.

“I am confident that my visit to Moscow is a signal to the whole world that our bilateral relations have good prospects for growth.

“We are ready for cooperation, and I would like to express confidence that this visit and our meeting will be quite productive,” he said.

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