Tehran, May 17 (EFE).- Russia’s energy minister said Wednesday during his ongoing Iran visit that Moscow and Tehran were expanding cooperation in the oil and gas sectors, amid sweeping international sanctions.
“We are implementing projects to develop oil fields in Iran and have outlined new projects, where I expect progress soon,” Alexander Novak, who also serves as Russia’s deputy prime minister, was quoted as saying by the Iranian Mehr news agency.
Novak arrived in the Iranian capital on Tuesday to boost energy ties between both countries and held meetings with Iran’s oil minister, Javad Owji.
“The oil and gas industry is a backbone for the economies of our countries. Strengthening bilateral cooperation in this area will undoubtedly increase the economic sustainability of Russia and Iran,” Novak said.
Owji told reporters that representatives from Russian and Iranian companies – including the deputy chairman of Russia’s Gazprom management committee, Vitaly Markelov -had held talks. Markelov is also in Iran for the visit.
“I am pleased to announce that major Russian companies have already arrived in Iran, came to terms with Iranian companies, and contracts are already being fulfilled,” the Iranian minister said.
The delegations also discussed the construction of nuclear power plants in Iran, according to Owji.
Iran and Russia have deepened ties since Moscow launched its full-blown invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Iran has long been struggling under international economic restrictions, particularly from the United States, linked to its uranium enrichment program.
Until the war in Ukraine, Tehran was the most sanctioned country in the world, but when Moscow launched its invasion, Russia turned into the biggest target of international restrictions.
The West has accused Iran of selling drones to Russia, which Russian president Vladimir Putin has used in the ongoing war in Ukraine, although Tehran has denied this.
Russia, in turn, has also sold Iran Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets that are due to arrive later this month. EFE
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