Iran and Russia get down to business, stress finalizing energy deals
Iran and Russia emphasized finalizing energy agreements between the two sides. Iranian ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaie and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the two sides called for implementing the energy deals as they discussed Tehran-Moscow cooperation in all fields.
"Energy sector is the force engine of economic cooperation of the two countries. Other business deals will be put into practice if Iran and Russia widen energy transactions," Sanaie said during the meeting.
Novak, for his part, called on oil ministries of the two countries to exercise the energy deals soon. Russia and Iran have been negotiating a deal that could see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil daily in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.
The talks reached progress late last year, ahead of the sanctions relief for Tehran under the November nuclear deal struck by world powers and Iran’s government. Media reports have recently said that Iran and Russia are in final stages of concluding a 20-bilion-dollar oil deal according to which Moscow can purchase 500,000 barrels of crude per day from Iran. Iran-Russia trade currently totals $5bln a year, but economists say they can at least quadruple the volume of their trade exchanges.
Last month, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced that Tehran and Moscow are due to finalize an agreement on broader economic and trade cooperation.
The Iranian oil minister underlined that Iran is determined to raise the volume of its “economic transactions” with Russia within the framework of long-term deals. Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation discussed bolstering and reinvigorating the two states' bilateral ties and cooperation in various spheres. Iran and Russia enjoy special positions on the international scene and have long had constant and regular consultations on key regional and global issues.