President: Expansion of Iran-Russia Ties to Benefit Both Nations, Region
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said that development of relations between Tehran and Moscow will lead to more security and prosperity for both nations and the entire region.
“Undoubtedly, the development of relations with Russia will contribute to the security and prosperity of the two nations. Certainly, such security-building cooperation will be for the sake of the region,” Rayeesi said after arriving in Tehran from Russia visit.
He said that during his Russia trip, which began on Wednesday, the two sides discussed steps to challenge the dominance of the US dollar and continue trade in their national currencies.
“Our oil minister had good agreements with Russian energy officials, the effects of which will emerge later,” he said, adding that good agreements were also reached on removing obstacles to boosting trade relations.
However, the level of trade relations is “not acceptable”, the president stated.
Officials have said the two sides seek to increase the current record $3 billion bilateral trade.
"We decided to increase the level of trade between the two countries to $10 billion in the first stage," President Rayeesi said.
"In the field of agriculture, there were also good discussions that would lead to real exchanges of agricultural products," he said.
In the field of transportation, the two sides decided to advance the North-South corridor which will facilitate transportation and greatly reduce transportation time, the president added.
In 2002, Russia, Iran, and India signed an agreement for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200 km multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
The INSTC is seen a game-changer that will shorten the distance and lower the cost of transportation from South Asia to Europe through Iran and Russia and potentially serve as an alternative to the Suez Canal for East-West trade.
Tehran and Moscow also reached agreements to expand their cooperation in the industry, defense, and aerospace sectors, President Rayeesi said.
On the first day of his two-day trip, which he described as a “turning point” in Iran-Russia relations, Rayeesi had a three-hour meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, during which the Iranian president said the Islamic Republic seeks to forge strategic relations with Moscow.