TEHRAN- Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin said that the development of relations between Iran and Russia is the best answer to illegal sanctions.

 

The official made the remarks in a meeting with Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber on the sidelines of the Second Caspian Economic Forum in Moscow on Thursday.

The meeting was participated by high-ranking delegations from the two countries.

Referring to the friendly and good neighborly relations between the two countries, the Russian official said Moscow is interested in expanding and deepening cooperation with Tehran in all fields.

Reiterating that the expansion of relations between the two countries is the best answer to the illegal sanctions against Iran and Russia, the Russian official added: “We welcome the presence and activity of Iranian companies in Russia and the field of activity and cooperation is available for our partners in Russia.”

Despite the sanctions, the companies of the two countries are cooperating, and Russian companies have taken good actions in the field of joint investment and cooperation in the energy sector and new oil and gas fields, Mishustin added.

Speeding up oil, gas contracts, establishing joint free zone followed up seriously

Addressing the same meeting, Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber said that speeding up the oil and gas contracts and establishing a joint free zone between Iran and Russia are being pursued seriously.

Iran and Russia have good and growing relations, and the will of the two countries to comprehensively strengthen relations is serious, the official stressed.

Referring to the meeting in the previous night (Wednesday, October 5) of the managers of some high-ranking Russian companies with the Iranian delegation, he added: “In this meeting, they discussed and made decisions regarding the investment of these companies in oil fields, as well as in the agricultural, financial, banking, transit and transportation sectors, and it was decided that the parties should provide a schedule for implementation.”

The first vice president listed transportation, transit, energy and activating the north-south corridor as the most important axes of cooperation between Iran and Russia and clarified: “Establishing a joint bank, electrifying the Garmsar-Inche Borun railway, speeding up oil and gas contracts, and creating a joint free zone are the other areas of desired cooperation that we must pursue seriously.”

As two powerhouses in the region and the world, Iran and Russia have been interacting on various levels for long, however, the two countries' relations have taken a completely new form following Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine.

Now, faced with sanctions, Moscow has become seriously inclined toward its old ally Iran in order to benefit from the valuable experiences of the Islamic Republic whose economy has adapted greatly to the sanction conditions, and also to use Iran’s capacities as a major economic player in the region to expand its trade ties.

In this regard, over the past few months, Russia has been taking major steps toward establishing a whole new foreign policy, the cornerstone of which has been economic relations with the Islamic Republic. Senior officials from the two sides have been meeting and visiting each other to consolidate bilateral cooperation in various fields, including energy, oil, gas, and transit, as well as diplomatic and political relations.

As the most significant event among the mentioned exchanges, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran in mid-July to attend the 7th Summit of the Guarantor States of the Astana Process.

During his stay in Tehran, the Russian President met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Raisi and exchanged views on the recent development in the world and in the relations between the two countries.

Less than two months after Putin’s visit, now a delegation comprising 100 representatives from 65 Russian companies visited Tehran last month to explore areas of cooperation with Iranian counterparts.

In the commission organized by the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), Russian and Iranian businessmen and traders held B2B meetings at Spinas Palace Hotel in Tehran for three consecutive days in late September.

The outcomes of these meetings are expected to be hugely significant for the two sides’ economic relations in the future.

Meanwhile, Iran and Russia have taken significant steps for removing the U.S. dollar from their bilateral trade, launching a settlement system to use their national currencies in economic exchanges.

Iran’s Integrated Forex Market launched the Ruble/Rial currency pair in early July, following a visit of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Ali Saleh-Abadi to Moscow.

The new arrangement means the two countries can now settle trading debts in each other’s currencies. The first trade took place on July 19, the day that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin arrived in Iran for talks with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.

As reported, the new monetary system could significantly reduce the two sides’ demand for dollars. Bilateral trade between Iran and Russia stood at four billion dollars in 2021 but the two countries say they are hoping to ramp up bilateral trade to eight billion dollars in the short term.

The new trading arrangement allows them to avoid the use of dollars and, by doing so, also sidestep the impact of the U.S. sanctions.