Iran and Russia determine to pursue joint ventures

Alexander NovakIn a recent meeting between Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Tehran, the two sides agreed to launch joint ventures for building thermal and hydroelectric power plants, establishing transmission lines, and expanding supply networks, the Mehr News Agency reported

 Novak informed that based on a proposed plan, Russia would export 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Iran and that the two countries have formed an ad hoc committee to conduct studies in this regard.

Meanwhile, Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei said that the implementation of Iran-Russia energy agreements holds the key to the expansion of bilateral relations in other economic spheres.

In a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow, Sanaei underlined the importance of the current year for the improvement of Iran-Russia cooperation and called for the implementation of oil, gas and electricity deals earlier signed between the two countries.

Sanaei also expressed Tehran’s willingness to purchase electricity from Russia and have the country assist in the construction of new thermal power plants and renovation of two power stations already functioning in central and southwestern Iran.

The Iran-Russia trade bill currently totals $5 billion annually, but economists say this can easily be quadrupled.

The Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Rokneddin Javadi said that Tehran and Moscow are engaged in serious negotiations to launch a south-north reverse oil swap project, but added that the time for the start of the swap operation has not been finalized as yet.

Earlier this month, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that Iran is determined to raise the volume of its “economic transactions” with Russia to clearly indicate the direction of the Islamic Republic’s future plans.

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