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News ID: 104006
Publish Date : 22 June 2022 - 21:43
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TEHRAN -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due in Iran Wednesday for talks on boosting trade and energy cooperation as the two countries grapple with Western economic sanctions.
Tehran and Moscow both have huge oil and gas reserves but are constrained by sanctions that limit their ability to export their output.
“Lavrov will meet our foreign minister (Hussein Amir-Abdollahian) tomorrow (Thursday),” IRNA news agency said.
Russia was slapped with sanctions following its February operation in neighboring Ukraine, while Iran’s economy has been reeling under draconian sanctions reimposed by the U.S. in 2018, following Washington’s withdrawal from a nuclear accord between Tehran and major powers.
Russia played a key role in that deal, taking charge of Iran’s excess enriched uranium stocks beyond those permitted under the agreement.
The negotiations have been stalled since March amid sharp differences between Tehran and Washington on the U.S. sanctions that would be lifted in exchange for Iran’s return to full compliance with the agreed limits to its nuclear activities.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi visited Moscow in January, and said he had presented his counterpart Vladimir Putin with draft documents on strategic cooperation that would cement collaboration for the next two decades.
In late May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran at the head of a large delegation after Russia’s operation in Ukraine sent global oil and gas prices soaring.
Meanwhile, new official figures from China show its oil imports from Russia soared, displacing Saudi Arabia as top supplier, while purchase of Iranian oil continued.
Imports of Russian oil, including supplies pumped via the East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline and seaborne shipments from Russia’s European and Far Eastern ports, totaled nearly 8.42 million tonnes, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
That’s equivalent to roughly 1.98 million barrels per day (bpd) and up a quarter from 1.59 million bpd in April.
Customs data released on Monday also showed China imported 260,000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil last month, its third shipment of Iran oil since last December.
Despite U.S. sanctions on Iran, China has kept taking Iranian oil. The import levels are roughly equivalent to 7% of China’s total crude oil imports.
Previously Western reports had claimed that Iranian shipments to China had dropped by as much as 50 percent in May due to Russian competition, but the official Chinese figures, which show only a part of imports from Iran, do not indicate a drop.

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