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Dilma Rousseff and Brazil´s Defense priorities are oil and Amazonia borders. Jets in 2012.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff arrives to a ceremony in which she awarded medals of merit to officers of the armed forces, in Planalto Palace in Brasilia April 5, 2011. She defended the budget spending on defense. Photo Credit to REUTERS/Ueslei

The president Rousseff said on Tuesday that the protection of oil reserves in the sea and the brazilian borders of the Amazon are the two top priorities in Brazil´s national defense strategy.

“The wealth of oil  discoveries in the depths of the Atlantic, which impose a new stage for the defense forces, the effective guarantee of national sovereignty by protecting our borders, both in the ocean but also in the Amazon, have become the priority of our defense strategy, “said Dilma during military condecoration of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia.

The reference to the shared borders with Colombia, Peru , Bolivia and Paraguay has to do with the cocaine drugs trafficking.

The president defended the investment in modernizing the armed forces and considered a “big mistake” the “temptation” to classify these expenditures as “idle effort.”

“A fully developed Brazil will need the Armed Forces equipped, trained, modern for fulfilling their duties,” said the President in her first military policy speech since her  inauguration .

“The defense can not be considered minor element of the national agenda,” she said.

The government announced a budget cut of 50 billion reais in 2011 , and the Ministry of Defence has been one of the most affected by the contingency. The Armed Forces has lost 4.4 billion dollars, 26.5 percent of the total budget.

Due to the cut, the purchase of 36 fighters for the Air Force (FAB), a major agenda items of the Brazilian defense, should not occur this year. The estimated cost of the project is 12 billion dollars.