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Brazil Proceeding On $1 Bln Russian Missile Purchase

Brazil says it's going forward with a plan for a $1 billion purchase of Russian antiaircraft missiles.

Defense Minister Celso Amorim made the announcement during a visit to Brasilia on by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Brazilian officials said they hope to sign a contract by mid-2014 to obtain Russian surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles.

Amorim said Brazil wants a “strategic partnership” with Russia based on the joint development of technology, including a possible joint development of a combat aircraft.

Brazil has been seeking to boost its military capabilities as it prepares to host next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Brazil and Russia are partners in the BRICS group of major emerging economies, alongside India, China, and South Africa.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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