Brazil, Russia To Expand Defense Co-operation, Focus On Cyber Security

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:03 PM, October 17, 2013
  • 4371

Brazil and Russia are planning to expand cooperation between the two countries with the creation of working groups in the areas of cyber security and space.

Based on a proposal made by Brazilian defense minister Celso Amorim, and accepted by his Russian counterpart, defense minister Sergei Shoigu, the two countries also agreed to establish a political-strategic dialogue between the two nations in the areas of defense and international security.

As part of the agreements concluded during the meeting, Brazil will send within two months military-technical staff to Russia to begin the final stage of negotiations for the purchase of Russian short- and medium-range air defense systems Igla and Pantsir-S1. 

The presidential authorization for the commencement of negotiations with a view to the purchase of five anti-aircraft defense systems occurred in February of this year, during the official visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to Brasilia. The new equipment will be used in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It is anticipated that the contract be signed by mid-2014.

During the meeting, Amorim said that Brazil's intention in relation to bilateral cooperation with Russia goes beyond the possible purchase of military equipment. "We seek a strategic partnership focused on joint technology development," he said.

According to the Brazilian minister, the experience with the acquisition of anti-aircraft systems and attack helicopters MI-35 (Brazil has ordered 12 units, nine of which have already been delivered to the Air Force) will serve as a benchmark for future joint projects. "If this cooperation goes well, we can imagine new projects of greater scope, greater scale," he noted.

The exchange of military officers in schools was also addressed during the meeting. There was a common understanding of the need to expand cooperation in this area, with an increased number of troops to be sent to study in both countries.

Details of the schedule and composition of the space and cyber-defense working groups will be worked out by the military commands of both countries. 

The sharing of experience in major events was also on the agenda. The Russian delegation offered to exchange know-how on the topic, and invited Brazil to send observers to the Winter Olympics to be held in the country in February 2014. In return, Amorim invited Russia to send observers to the World Cup next year. 

During the meeting, the ministers also briefly touched upon the subject of military aviation. On this subject, Amorim noted that the country's process for the acquisition of 4th generation fighter (FX-2) is already well advanced. The Brazilian minister said, however, that Brazil is open to talks on possible partnerships for the development of 5th generation fighters. 

The representatives of the two countries also discusses topics of international interest (Afghanistan and Syria), and also some aspects of cybersecurity. On the latter issue, there was a consensus of the need for discussion of an international normalization, and a global agreement that ensures the protection of computer networks and infrastructures of countries. 

Amorim expressed concern with the evolution of Brazilian international regulation that "freeze" the differences currently exist between countries in this field. "We have to study ways to control the use of cyber weapons, but without restricting the creative use appropriate technology development," he said. 

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