Russian President Vladimir Putin was pictured shaking hands and standing close to his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro during his trip to Moscow, just days after forcing other leaders to sit at a distance.
The Russian government is said to have asked Mr Bolsonaro and the team he travelled with to carry out their COVID testing regulations in order to sit nearer to Mr Putin and even shake his hand during the official trip to Moscow today.
The guidelines sent by the Kremlin to the Brazilian government included the Brazilian President taking up to five PCR-type tests in order to detect the virus, BBC News Brazil reported.
One of the tests would also need be made between three and four hours before the meeting with Mr Putin, although it has not been confirmed whether Mr Bolsonaro complied with the request.
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According to Russian guidelines, all people in the Brazilian delegation, including passengers on the plane that will transport Bolsonaro, must present three negative PCR tests before boarding.
It comes after Emmanuel Macron and Mr Putin were pictured sitting at opposite ends of a 20ft table last week during the French President’s visit to Moscow to discuss the Ukraine crisis, due to his reluctance to take a PCR test to avoid Russia getting hold of his DNA.
Similarly, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also found himself sitting at the other end of the table when he also refused to take a COVID test.
Mr Bolsonaro said during his visit to Moscow today that Brazil is interested in small nuclear reactors that are made by Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom.
In a statement alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Bolsonaro did not mention Ukraine by name, but said: “We pray for peace and respect all who act in that way.”
Mr Putin added: “Our corporation (Rosatom) is ready to participate in construction of new power units in Brazil, including low-capacity nuclear power plants, both on land and in floating versions.”