TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Ranking delegations from Iran and Russia signed 12 agreements on Tuesday to launch cooperation and carry out joint projects in various areas, from nuclear energy to tourism industry.
In comments at the conclusion of the 15th meeting of the Iran-Russia joint commission on economic cooperation, held in Iran’s central city of Isfahan, Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian said that Iranian and Russian ministries, private sectors, chambers of commerce and local authorities have been holding intensive meetings over the past two days to finalize a series of major contracts and memorandums of understanding that have been designed over the last several months to boost economic ties between the two nations.
He also said that parliamentary ratification of an agreement that allows Iran to join a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries would affect a regional market of 200 million people.
According to the minister, Iran and Russia decided to sign 12 deals in various areas at the conclusion of the gathering on Tuesday, including an agreement on improvement to the Ramin thermal power station in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz and one on cooperation in the electricity industry.
Ardekanian said the two sides have also stressed the need to implement previous agreements about the second and third units of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, south of Iran.
Touching on the fruitful negotiations between Iran’s Oil Ministry and Russia’s Energy Ministry, held in Tehran on Monday, Ardekanian said leaders of the two countries have the political will to maintain joint activities in the energy industry.
He added that Iran and Russia have also agreed to work jointly on several railway projects, the trade of fish farm products, provision of medicine for rare diseases, and establishment of tourist ferry lines in the Caspian Sea.
Ardekanian finally said that the energy ministries of Iran and Russia have agreed on a joint project to construct four 1,400-megawatt thermal power plants in Iran’s southern province of Hormozgan, and that the two sides are expected to start implementing the major project within the next three months.
Heading a 120-strong delegation, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak visited Iran for the new round of joint economic commission meetings.
On Monday, the visiting Russian minster and Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh met in Tehran to discuss global cooperation in the energy sector.
The Iranian oil minister said at the meeting that he disagrees with a plan to postpone an upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), adding that Iran would prefer July 10-12 if a new date was to be set for the gathering.
OPEC was scheduled to meet on June 25, but Russia, a producer outside OPEC, suggested moving the meeting to July 3-4.
In letters to OPEC, Algeria and Kazakhstan have disagreed with moving the dates. Sources say Venezuela and Libya additionally opposed a schedule change.
“It is becoming really embarrassing,” Reuters quoted an OPEC source as saying.
OPEC and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, agreed in December 2018 to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1. OPEC’s share of the cut is 800,000 bpd, to be delivered by 11 members -all except Iran, Libya and Venezuela.