Exclusive – Brazil terminates Cyclone-4 space deal with Ukraine

Versão em português

DefesaNet publish with exclusivity Brazilian Chanceler Mauro Vieira letter sent to Ukrainian Ambassador in Brasilia DF, Mr Rostyslav Tronenko, on July 16th, 2015.

Follow some comments obtained by DefesaNet with people familiar with  Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS) Joint Venture.

We are publishing a copy of a note from Brazilian Itamaraty delivered to Ukraine’s ambassador in Brazil, terminating the Cyclone-4  treaty that created the binational company Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS). On the document, Minister Mauro Vieira states that “the technology-trade equation that justified this partnership has been significantly altered”. Due to this, the Brazilian government took “the irrevocable decision… to denounce [the treaty]”.

The reasons given by the Brazilian minister to break the partnership seemed poorly crafted to us. This will give the Ukrainians the chance to demand a large financial compensation for the sunken deal. Since 2013, when Brazil practically stopped to cooperate on the ACS capital, the Ukrainian party has sent several official memos to various government branches and levels, even to the president of the Brazilian Space Agency and President Dilma Rousseff herself.

The documents reaffirmed Ukraine’s intention to keep its technological and financial commitment, and asked for an official word from the Brazilian government on whether the project would go on. As far as we know, none of these memos was answered.

On their part, the Ukrainians completed the development of the Cyclone-4 launcher – which was their end of the deal – and ensured it would be delivered to Alcântara by the end of the year. Brazil, on its part, did almost nothing in terms of general infrastructure, which was our government’s responsibility. When Ministry Vieira talks about alterations on the technology-trade equation, could it be he means that there’s no equation at all, since Kiev kept their part of the deal and Brazil did not?

And speaking of trade, the Cyclone-4 would actually be an ideal launcher for many low-orbit satellites being developed at the moment, in case there’s a technological safeguard agreement between Brazil and the United States, without it, practically no commercial satellite will be launched from Brazil, since they are manufactured with American components. Until now, the Brazilian government hasn’t made any move towards negotiating a deal of this kind with the USA – yet another failure on Brazil’s part?

When terminating the deal with Ukraine, Brazil placed itself in an incredibly uncomfortable position. The financial compensation the country will be forced to pay Kiev may very well amount more than the R$2 billion owed in the first place. Wouldn’t it be more interesting for us to finish this project, gain our own access to space and high technology and, on top of that, save some money? 


The termination note sent to Ukrainian ambassador reads as follows:
On June 16th, 2015
Mister Ambassador,

I refer to the Treaty on Long-term Cooperation on Utilizing the Ciclone-4 Launching Vehicle at the Alcântara Launching Base, signed in Brasilia, on October 21st 2013.

2 – Regarding said subject, I inform Your Excellency that, after close examinations made on technical terms, and whose information elements and results have been subjected to analysis and decisions on the highest levels, the Brazilian government concluded that the technology-trade equation that justified the partnership, after the Treaty in question was signed, has been significantly altered.

3 – Under these conditions, citing the 17, item 3 of said Treaty,  I inform Your Excellency of the Brazilian government’s irrevocable decision to terminate it.

I also take the opportunity to renew my claims of the utmost respect and consideration towards Your Excellency.

Mauro Vieira
Minister of Foreign Relations

To His Excellency Mister Rotyslav Tronenko
Ukrainian Ambassador

Document Facsímile in portuguese Deal Cyclone 4

Document Facsímile in Ukrainian Deal Cyclone 4

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