Owji: Part of Russia’s $5bn Fund for Iran Projects Allocated; $40bn Annual Trade on Agenda

SHANA (Tehran) – Part of Russia’s $5 billion fund for Iranian energy, agricultural, and transport projects was allocated, said the country’s minister of petroleum here on Wednesday.

Javad Owji, who made the announcement after his meeting with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, added that the two countries plan to raise their annual trade to $40 billion by 2025.

Iran and Russia had held preliminary talks in Moscow, said the minister of petroleum, adding, “Today, we signed good agreements and memorandums of understanding.”

The two sides’ energy, banking, transports, agricultural, nuclear energy, industrial, and free trade sectors enjoy desirable capacities for bilateral cooperation, boasted Owji, reiterating that Iran’s 13th administration is determined to increase its trade with Russia in these fields to $40 billion per annum.

He called the banking sector one of the main topics discussed both in Russia and Tehran, adding that the two sides agreed to conduct their bilateral trade in their own currencies.

Owji expressed his satisfaction with negotiations on oil, gas, and petrochemical industries in Moscow, and said that the two sides inked good contracts on cooperation in the upstream sector of oil industry, petrochemical industry and export of technical and engineering services.

“Today, we sign a memorandum of understanding on exporting petrochemical contracts and catalyst technical know-how,” revealed the minister.

Bilateral Cooperation to Neutralize Sanctions

Iran’s minister of petroleum also pointed to the North-South Transport Corridor and said that the issue was discussed today and good agreements were reached in the rail, road, maritime, and air transport sectors.

Moscow is also interested in developing the corridor, a rail cargo route from Russia to India that would boost trade from the Caspian and Persian Gulf regions, according to Novak.

Brutal sanctions have been imposed on both Iran and Russia, said Owji, however adding, “Our cooperation and expansion of relations in all areas will help neutralize the sanctions.”

Russia Willingness

“We’re on track to raise trade, economic, logistics, investment, financial, banking cooperation, despite the unprecedented pressure that Russia is experiencing,” Novak said at a meeting with businesses in Tehran earlier, as reported by news service Interfax.

Trade between Russia and Iran rose by more than 10% in the first quarter, he said.

“We are ready to continue the implementation of already-initiated projects and to launch new ones,” Novak said.

Among those is the expansion of the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant.

Talks with Moscow continue on the second and third phases of the facility, which will require “a lot of investment,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, according to the IRNA.

News Code 457427

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