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Russian deputy PM in Tehran: Trade with Iran up 81% at $4 billion

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak (Photo by TASS news agency)

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak says the total value of bilateral trade between Moscow and Tehran grew 81 percent last year. 

“According to statistics, the value of trade transactions between our countries increased by 81 percent last year, and surged to its highest annual rate in recent years as it stood at $4 billion,” Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quoted Novak as saying at the joint Iran-Russian trade forum in the Iranian capital city of Tehran on Wednesday.

Trade between the two countries also increased by 10 percent year on year in the last three months, he added. 

Novak noted that Iranian goods can meet the Russian market's demand, and that reduction of restrictions on imports into Russia and development of monetary relations between the two countries can help expansion of such ties.

“The high pressures being exerted on Russia by adversary states necessitate promotion of cooperation between the two countries. That is why a large delegation comprising of representatives from Russia’s state sectors, governors, businessmen, entrepreneurs and manufacturers has traveled to Iran to deepen relations,” the Russian deputy prime minister pointed out.

Novak went on to say that Moscow is looking forward to the development of the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which will give Russia access to the Persian Gulf waters and will increase its activities in that region.

“Russia is looking to increase imports because of the situation it is facing now. We are therefore looking to boost economic and trade cooperation with international partners,” the senior Russian official said.

Novak also highlighted that Russia has earmarked a significant budget for the development of economic infrastructure, which will provide greater opportunities for expansion of trade ties with neighboring countries.

“We are looking to reduce restrictions on imports into Russia,” he said, adding that regulations have been enacted to facilitate the import and export of medical products, equipment, raw materials and engineering services.

The Russian deputy prime minister also stressed that there exist good conditions for promotion of cooperation between his country and Iran.

“We can cooperate in major projects in Iran, such as the Bushehr nuclear power plant and develop bilateral relations,” Novak said. 

For his part, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said Tehran and Moscow are in talks over the construction of two new units at the Bushehr nuclear power plant as part of their efforts to promote bilateral strategic cooperation in the fields of energy and nuclear technology.

“Because they are large projects, they require a lot of investment. Therefore, we must consider financial issues and negotiate with Russia in this regard, Kamalvandi stressed.

“Iran and Russia have good nuclear relations and we want to negotiate for the development of nuclear relations,” the official further said.


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