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Temer hails ties with Putin as scandal rages at home

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Moscow (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer Wednesday, with the leaders hailing a deep-rooted relationship while staying mum on Brazil's corruption scandal.

Temer is accused by Brazil's federal police of receiving bribes, while the country's top court said it had accumulated enough evidence for an investigation into the president's "passive corruption" which could see him suspended from office.

Meeting Putin in the Kremlin, however, Temer didn't utter a word on the subject and the two leaders did not take questions after talks.

"The Brazilian delegation and myself, we are returning to Brazil more confident in the future than before," Temer told journalists, according to the Russian translation.

"We have agreed (with Putin) that it is necessary to use our strategic partnership toward progress in our relations," he said, inviting Russian investors to Brazil.

"I know what we can do to work even better for the well-being of our countries' people... and I am sure that we have made a big step toward this future," he added, also inviting Putin for an official visit.

Temer's stopover, which included an "very good evening" in the Bolshoi Theatre, according to Putin, comes as his popularity may have hit rock bottom at home and as his closest allies are also facing corruption investigations.

Putin hailed Brazil as "one of Russia's key partners" with cooperation "built on long traditions of friendship and mutual respect." He said the talks have been "substantial and useful."

Russia's investment into Brazil has surpassed $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euros), Putin said.

Brazil is seeking Russian investment in its oil sector and infrastructure of ports, roads and railroads.

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