RIO-DE-JANEIRO, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and Brazil intend “to reach agreements on co-operation between the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia and the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) as quickly as possible,” Deputy Minister of Economic Development and co-chairman of the Russian-Brazilian intergovernmental commission on economic, scientific-technical co-operation Aleksei Likhachev told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

The business mission he heads held several meetings and talks with Brazilian partners in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia at which development of transport and fuel and energy infrastructure was discussed in particular. Russian delegation included officials of such companies as Russian oil major Rosneft, Russian railway operator RZD and Ural carriage-building plant Uralvagonzavod.

“MERCOSUR [Argentine, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay] works actively on creation of a common regional market, lifts internal barriers and is in talks with American countries and Asian states,” Likhachev said. “We like this approach, we participate actively in the scope of talks, because “an inter-union agreement” on advancement to preferential trade is possible and desirable,” the deputy minister of economic development noted.

He noted that co-chairmen of intergovernmental commissions on co-operation of the two countries met during his visit to Brasilia. The interlocutors “discussed a broad agenda of co-operation and approved joint approaches to increase bilateral trade, including support to joint projects.”

In this regard, Likhachev noted the Rosneft project on prospecting and production of hydrocarbons from the Solimoes basin gas and oil field in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Infrastructure projects for development of railways in Brazil are also among promising projects. “Brazilian partners are interested in Russian experience of managing a long network of railways, they are prepared to work on projects over supplies of rolling stock and its production in the country as well as Russia’s possible participation in subcontract projects of railway construction,” the deputy minister of economic development said.

The co-chairmen of the intergovernmental co-operation commissions discussed economic agenda of a summit of the BRICS states [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] which will be held in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in July.

The countries will continue working on promising projects of bilateral co-operation “in May at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum where an authoritative delegation of Brazilian ministries, agencies and business structures concerned should come to attend the forum,” Likhachev noted.