Medvedev Calls for First BRIC Summit

APMedvedev kicking a ball at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium on Tuesday.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil --President Dmitry Medvedev and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called Wednesday for the first summit of major emerging- market countries, known as BRICs, in Russia next year.

The BRIC nations, a popular acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China, have hastened moves to take a greater say in world affairs and the global economy in response to the world financial crisis emanating from the United States.

"The financial crisis, which we haven't started and we are not to blame for, affected the global economic situation and we are forced to react," Medvedev said after signing a joint declaration with Lula in Rio de Janeiro.

"We agreed with President Lula that we will coordinate our efforts with Brazil in fighting the crisis and creating a new global financial architecture."

The countries -- the world's four largest emerging markets -- met as a group for the first time at a G20 gathering of finance ministers in Sao Paulo this month and put out a joint statement calling for a greater say in world affairs and the global economy.

The statement came after Medvedev's call on Wednesday to double trade with Brazil and expand cooperation in high-tech areas.

"I hope in the next few years the turnover will reach $10 billion a year [from $5 billion in 2007]," Medvedev said at a luncheon with Russian and Brazilian businessmen in Rio.

"The structure of the turnover is far from ideal," he said. "The main task is to make it include high-tech sectors, major companies and the energy sector. We have such potential."

The two leaders also signed agreements on military technology cooperation, on which no details were given, and on visa-free travel between the countries for short trips.

Regional giant Brazil has embarked on an overhaul of its armed forces and plans to spend tens of billions of dollars in the coming years to refurbish outdated equipment, sparking the interest of numerous foreign defense contractors from Paris to Moscow.

Brazil sees a chance for closer cooperation with Russia in nuclear propulsion and aerospace technology.

Russia's Sukhoi fighter jet failed to make the cut in a Brazilian air force tender to replace up to 100 aircraft over 15 years because it offered no technology transfer.

Medvedev announced on Tuesday that Gazprom would open an office in Rio de Janeiro next year.

He said that while there had been few results so far, a huge potential exists for cooperation, including in the development of infrastructure and new deposits, Interfax reported.

Lula, however, wants more state control over the country's gas reserves and would likely drive a hard bargain with Gazprom.