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Russia’s top banker in Tehran to boost mutual trade

Central Bank of Iran Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin (R-center) meets with Russian counterpart Elvira Nabiullina (L-centre) in Tehran on May 23, 2023.

Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina has held a key meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Reza Farzin to discuss ways to improve trade payment and settlement services between the two countries.

Nabiullina arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to hold talks with Iranian officials and to attend a meeting of chief bankers of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).

That comes amid efforts by Iran and Russia, and other countries facing pressure from the United States, to increase the use of local and regional currencies in their trade ties.

The process, generally known as de-dollarization, has gained momentum over the past year with an increase in Western sanctions against Russia.

Iranian officials said earlier this week that a main focus of the ACU meeting in Tehran on May 23-25 will be to encourage the use of alternative currencies in trade between major economies in Asia.

In her meeting with Farzin in the CBI headquarters on Tuesday, Nabiullina reiterated the need for increased cooperation between banking and monetary sectors of Iran and Russia, according to a report on the website of the CBI.

She said technical and expert delegations from central banks of Iran and Russia should frequently visit the two countries to expand and deepen bilateral banking ties.

Iran and Russia have sought to expand their trade and economic relations since February 2022 when Russia came under American and European sanctions because of the war in Ukraine.

Iran has been facing a raft of American sanctions since 2018 when a former government in Washington pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

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