Russia minister: Moscow to raise trade exchanges with Tehran
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday, "Unfortunately, trade exchanges between the two countries have shrunk in recent years due to a number of issues, including sanctions", PressTV reported.
The minister also stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have called for new mechanisms to be devised in order to remove obstacles in the way of increasing trade exchanges.
"Through formulation and implementation of such mechanisms, the ground for export of commodities and services from Russia to Iran and vice versa will be prepared, and such exchanges would be in the areas of energy, electricity, oil and gas exploitation, technical and engineering equipment, road construction, food industry and many more," Novak said.
The remarks come as Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei and Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev recently underscored the necessity of establishing joint financial institutions to promote economic cooperation between Iran and Russia.
On May 7, the two officials urged closer cooperation in banking and insurance. They also called for further coordination to organize the 11th meeting of the Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission, which is scheduled to be held in Tehran.
Iran-Russia trade currently totals USD 5 billion a year, but economists say the two countries can at least quadruple the volume of their trade exchanges.
On March 14, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the Islamic Republic is determined to raise the volume of its "economic transactions" with Russia under long-term deals.