RIO DE JANEIRO, February 8. /TASS/. Brazil’s purchases of Russian weaponry are impeded by the country’s status of a major non-NATO ally, the country’s Vice President Antonio Hamilton Mourao told the Valor Economico newspaper on Tuesday.
"We do not purchase Russian weaponry. <...> The main reason for that is Brazil’s ‘major non-NATO ally’ status. Frankly speaking, I consider this hardly possible. I don’t see optimism among Brazil’s military circles about any kind of deal in this sphere," the paper quoted him as saying.
He also said that Brasilia earlier purchased Mi-35M military helicopters from Moscow under an agreement signed in November 2008, and later "faced maintenance problems" during their use.
Russia and Brazil continue discussing the deal to purchase Pantsir-S1 air defense missile guns, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Anatoly Punchuk told TASS last October. In his words, "the issue of Brazil’s purchase of Pantsir is still on the table and discussions continue."
Brazil has been discussing the purchase of Russian air defense systems since 2013. Originally, the signing of the contract was scheduled in 2015. In May 2016, then head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Alexander Fomin said that Russia was prepared to deliver Pantsir systems to Brazil, but the contract had not been signed yet due to internal problems in that country.