A senior Iranian official said economic exchange worth $1 billion a year between Tehran and Kiev is within reach, given the determination of government officials and the potential of the two countries’ private sectors. Valiollah Afkhamirad, the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, made the statement following the conclusion of the fifth session of Iran-Ukraine Economic Commission held in Tehran earlier this week. “Figures by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show bilateral trade between Iran and Ukraine has been cut by nearly half from $234 million last year to $104 million in the nine months ending January 20,” the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad quoted Afkhamirad as saying. Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Natalia Mikolska, who was representing Ukraine in the joint commission, said the time is right for the two governments and private sectors to prepare the ground for expansion of commercial relations. “I believe we should go beyond the mere signing of memorandum of understanding and define new areas of cooperation,” she said. Ukrainian news agency Interfax reported that a delegation of Ukrainian businessmen will visit Iran in May and June.