The amount of Russian-Brazilian trade for 2001 will reach approximately 1.5 bln dollars. Alexander Yakovenko, an official spokesman for the foreign ministry, stated in an interview with RIA Novosti with regard to the forthcoming visit by Mikhail Kasyanov to Brazil on 12th December. According to him, mutual trade "is showing a clear tendency for growth". In recent years, the trade volume has been at a level of 1 bln dollars. "There is every reason to believe that after years joint trade will reach the order of 1.5 bln dollars', stressed Yakovenko. "The successful development in commercial and economic ties between our countries", he claimed, "is promoted by the work of the Intergovernmental Russian-Brazilian commission (MPK) for commercial-economic and scientific technological co-operation'. The diplomat recalled that the commission's 2nd meeting took place in Moscow in September 2001. At the 2nd session of the MPK the concluding act was signed of the Intergovernmental programme for scientific and technological co-operation for 2001-2003. The intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in the sphere of specific competition and international banking agreement was initiated. Alexander Yakovenko stated that at present a co-operation programme is ready for signing between the Russian Ministry of Nuclear Energy and the Brazilian National Nuclear Energy Commission on civilian use of nuclear energy for 2001-2003. The Russian diplomat believes that between our countries there is a real possibility for a mutual beneficial co-operation in the areas of aerospace technology, meteorology and in the development of advanced materials and microelectronics.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land