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Iran, Russia ink deal to boost trade ties

Iran and Russia on Thursday signed an agreement to promote trade cooperation in the area of infrastructure projects PRESSTV reported.

The agreement was signed by Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s minister of communications and information technology, and the visiting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

It was signed at the end of Novak’s two-day stay in the Iranian capital.

The agreement specifically calls for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in areas such as transportation, the oil industry, road and urban development as well as the banking sector.

Novak, heading a 50-member delegation, arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to discuss joint economic projects.

Vaezi told reporters after meeting Novak in one of his earliest meetings in Tehran that Russia has pledged to issue a credit line of $5 billion for joint projects with Iran. He said the credit line is expected to usher in a new era in Iran-Russia economic relations.

Novak’s s next key meeting was with Abbas Akhoundi, Iran’s minister of roads and urban development, during which he was briefed on 121 projects in Iran that Akhondi said could be carried out at a total cost of €25 billion.

The Russian minister also heard from Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh that Iran is ready to swap Russian natural gas, oil, and oil products through its southern ports.

Before signing the Thursday agreement with Novak, Vaezi told reporters that Iran and Russia had devised a package of joint projects with a total value of $25 billion to $30 billion.

He also said the grounds were also prepared during Novak’s meetings in Tehran over the past two days to devise a mechanism to provide funds for the joint projects between the two countries.

The Iranian minister further added that Iran will soon send a high-ranking joint delegation to Moscow to discuss mechanisms to facilitate Iran-Russia financial transactions in line with the same projects.

By Shiva Parizad
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