On Sunday evening Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso arrived on an official visit in Moscow. He and the Russian President are to discuss the expansion of bilateral trade. According to the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry, in 2001 the volume of bilateral trade between Russia and Brazil totaled about $1.5 billion exceeding the 2000 level by $500 million. Raw materials and semi-finished products, including fertilizers, metals, alloys and chemical products, form the basis of Russian export to Brazil. Agricultural and food products and tobacco goods (97 per cent of all imports) are the principal items of Russian import from Brazil. Russia is holding the first place among the importers of Brazilian raw sugar and is one of the five principal importers of coffee, pork and chickens. Brazil is holding the first place in the volume of trade turnover among Russia's trade partners in Latin America. About 0.8 percent of Russia's foreign trade falls on Brazil. Russia's share in the Brazilian foreign trade turnover is about 1 percent.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea