EHRAN – Iranian and Russian officials have signed three memoranda of understanding (MoU) to broaden energy and banking relations.
The MoUs were signed during a meeting in Tehran attended by Iran’s Petroleum Minister Javad Owji and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
The two officials serve as co-chairs of the Iran-Russia economic and trade cooperation commission.
Owji said in the meeting that Iran and Russia had agreed to use national currencies for settlement of trade and energy payments.
Novak has also told Russia’s official TASS news agency that Moscow and Tehran had agreed to “move to the highest possible level of mutual settlements in national currencies”.
Novak said Iran and Russia will continue talks to connect their electronic payment systems as well as their financial messaging systems.
According to Owji, Iran and Russia had also signed MoUs on joint projects in the upstream and downstream of their oil and gas sectors.
Under the deals, Iran will be able to export petrochemicals and technical and engineering services to Russia, including a home-grown technology on catalyst manufacturing.
Reports suggest that under new agreements with Russia, Iran will be able to use the Russian territory to carry out swap deliveries of natural gas to other countries.
Under a similar agreement, Iran currently supplies gas to Azerbaijan in return for gas delivered to its northeastern border from Turkmenistan.
Iran’s Petroleum Minister says annual trade exchanges between the country and Russia will increase 10-fold from the current 4 billion dollars.
Javad Oji said the current trade volume is 4 billion dollars per annum and as per agreements between Iran and Russia during President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Moscow last year, this figure will increase to 40 billion dollars.
Oji added that the trade will take place in the fields of energy, roads and industries as well as medical and agricultural equipment.
Oji, head of Iran-Russia joint economic commission, added that a key agreement is about monetary and banking cooperation.
According to him, Russia and Iran are to use each other’s currencies and monetary treaties and link their credit systems to each other as well.
The oil minister elsewhere said the Islamic Republic has used half of a 5-billion-dollar credit line granted by Russia for the implementation of projects in various fields.
He added that the two sides have entered into good deals aimed at developing joint oil and gas fields and joint ventures, production of petrochemical products, developing g technical know-how, swapping gas, oil products and even crude oil.
Oji said Iran will import 5 million tons of wheat or grains from Russia. He noted that an agreement was finalized for this purpose during a visit to Moscow by an Iranian delegation
Iran and Russia also may introduce major barter arrangements to facilitate trade between the two countries, including a plan that could allow Iran to import steel from Russia in return for exports of car parts and gas turbines to the country.
Iranian trade and industries minister Reza Fatemi Amin said on Thursday that Iran will use barter trade with Russia to ensure supplies of raw materials for use in its metals and mining sector.
Speaking on the sidelines of Iran-Russia joint economic and trade cooperation commission in Tehran, Fatemi Amin said Iran will need to import raw metals like zinc, lead and alumina from Russia to respond to a growing domestic demand.
He said, however, that Iran and Russia had agreed to introduce barter arrangements for certain goods and commodities, including for Russian steel.
The minister said Iran will be able to export car parts and gas turbines to Russia in return for Russian steel imports.
He said some Iranian companies have signed deals to supply or repair gas turbines in Russian power plants.