TEHRAN (Dispatches) - Iran’s Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi has declared Iran’s readiness to ramp up grain exports to Russia as he presses for more joint investment schemes between the two countries.
Khavazi made the proposal during a Thursday meetings with Russia’s minister of agriculture Dmitry Patrushev during a meeting in Moscow, according to a report by Iran’s official news agency IRNA.
The report said that Khavazi and Patrushev had discussed plans for increasing cooperation between Iran and Russia in the farming and food sector.
Khavazi also pressed his counterpart for a rollout of free trade talks between Iran and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), said IRNA report.
Iran has been in a preferential trade agreement with the EAEU since October 2019. However, a bulk of Iran’s trade with the bloc is aimed at Russia as the two countries seek to bolster their economic and political ties to offset the impacts of American sanctions that have targeted the two countries in recent years.
However, Khavazi said Iran seeks to increase its exports of grains to Russia to offset a relatively large trade deficit it has with Moscow.
Recent figures by Iran’s customs office IRICA showed that export to Russia in the year to March had amounted to $510 million of a total trade figure of $2.626 billion.
IRICA figures showed that trade with Russia was responsible for some 77% of exchange with the five-member EAEU bloc in the year to March.
Khavazi said during his meeting with Patrushev that Iranian and Russian private investors can launch joint schemes to help expand trade ties between the two countries.