Brazil wants its trade relations with Russia to strengthen and continue past the end of the Moscow-imposed ban on agricultural imports from Western countries that hit it with sanctions, Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Katia Abreu told Sputnik Brazil.

The European Union, the United States and their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia for its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. Moscow has repeatedly denied those claims, and, in August 2014, responded by imposing a year-long ban on certain food imports from the countries that imposed the economic restrictions.

In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree extending the countermeasures.

“For us it [Russia’s embargo] became an opportunity to compensate for the lack of products, subjected to embargo – mainly, meat, milk and fruit. Currently we are trying to strengthen these relations, for them not to become something temporary… Our aim is to build mature business relations with Russia,” Abreu said.

The Brazilian minister added that Russia is expected to begin exports of wheat and fish to Brazil.

“We have practically agreed upon it,” Abreu said.

Deterioration of Russia’s relations with the West amid the Ukrainian crisis prompted Moscow to develop stronger ties with countries of Latin America and BRICS.

Earlier in July, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that Brazil fully supports Russia’s claim that the Western economic sanctions are counterproductive.