President Michel Temer: Brazil forging ‘warm ties’ with Russia

June 23, 2017 4:27 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Brazilian counterpart are seen during a meeting at the Kremlin, in Moscow, , on June 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The leaders of and Russia are planning to strengthen ties, including in the area of weapons and foodstuff trade.
Brazil’s President Michel Temer said on Thursday that he has built warm ties with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Temer, who was speaking in an interview with Russia’s Tass agency, said he had “developed friendly personal ties” with Putin.
On Wednesday, the leaders talked on the phone for four hours, according to Temer.
The Brazilian president told the Russian news agency that during the conversation, the leaders had agreed to boost bilateral ties and expand cooperation in space research. Temer said that they had also discussed arms deals and the expansion of Brazil’s food exports to Russia.
US suspends meat imports from Brazil
Meanwhile, US authorities have announced the immediate suspension of all imports of beef products from ’s largest country due to safety concerns.
The decision by US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue came three months after a major scandal into allegations of bribed meat inspectors shook Brazil’s meat industry and prompted several countries to temporarily halt imports.
In a statement, Perdue said that since March, US inspectors had refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products, about 86 tons.
“That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world,” the statement said.
It said the suspension would remain in place until Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry took corrective action.
Brazilian officials and JBS, a Brazilian company that is the world’s largest meat packer, declined to comment.

This file photo, taken on March 24, 2017, shows meat products in a cold storage room at a supermarket in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (By AFP)

In March, Brazilian authorities said they were investigating inspectors who allegedly allowed expired meats enter the market in exchange for bribes.
Several countries, including major importer China, temporarily stopped buying Brazilian meats. After assurances from Brazilian officials, though, most began buying again within a few weeks.
Still, the episode proved a major embarrassment for a nation that prides itself on its beef, and it had a large financial impact at a time when Latin America’s biggest economy is struggling to emerge from its worst recession in a generation.
For several weeks, the usual tens of millions of dollars in daily exports slowed to less than $100,000, according to Brazilian authorities.
Brazil was the world’s largest producer of beef and veal in 2016. Meat and poultry are main export items from Brazil.
The US, however, is not a major customer of Brazilian beef because it produces a considerable amount itself.
However, the domestic US ban is likely to draw the attention of European and Asian countries, which are major customers.
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