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Brazil asked for help from Russia with nuclear-powered submarine

Brazil asked Russia for help in developing its first nuclear-powered submarine during President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Moscow last month, Folha de S. Paulo daily reported on Wednesday, citing a military source.

According to the newspaper, Brazil has asked for help from Washington to certify nuclear reactor fuel and “engineering problems” but the talks collapsed in 2018.

The South American country would then have turned to Russia for help. Bolsonaro reportedly asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for help with the submarine during his trip to Moscow last month. The trip took place a week before Russia attacked Ukraine.

Brazilian officials met with the Russian state nuclear energy agency Rosatom, which had already reached agreements on the supply of fuel for the country’s only nuclear power plant, and the health sector. However, after returning home, Bolsonaro said Brazil was also interested in Russian nuclear technology. “because of the propulsion of our submarine”, said the newspaper.

Folha de S. Paulo quoted Foreign Ministry sources as saying the future of the potential deal is now uncertain due to Russia’s ongoing military campaign against Ukraine. Many countries, including the US, UK, Canada and EU member states, have imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in recent weeks.

Brazil began building its first nuclear-powered submarine, the Alvaro Alberto, late last year. It is expected to launch in 2031, according to Naval News.


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