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Report confirms swap supply of fuel from Russia to Iran

A view shows a local oil refinery in Omsk, Russia June 6, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

A report citing industry sources have confirmed statements by Iranian and Russian authorities suggesting the two countries have been involved in an agreement to swap oil products supplies.

The report by the Reuters news agency published on Tuesday said that Russia had started to supply significant volumes of fuel to Iran by rail under a swap arrangement that is aimed at undermining Western sanctions on the two countries.

The report quoted two sources familiar with the export data as saying that Russia had supplied up to 30,000 metric tons of gasoline and diesel to Iran in February and March.

The sources said the shipments were supplied by rail from Russia via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran, adding that some gasoline cargoes were then re-exported by truck from Iran to neighboring countries, including Iraq.

The report confirms statements by Russian and Iranian authorities in recent months suggesting the two countries have expanded their energy cooperation to offset the impacts of Western sanctions on their economies.

Swap arrangements enables Russia to export its crude oil, natural gas and oil products to countries in the region via Iran while helping Iran to boost energy supplies to its northern region.

Iran has been under US sanctions since 2018 when Washington decided to pull out of an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The US and allies in Europe imposed rounds of sanctions on Russia since the start of war in Ukraine more than a year ago.

Both Moscow and Tehran have cast the sanction, which mainly target their energy sectors, as illegal and unjustified.

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