Domestic Economy

Iran-Russia Traders Gather in Moscow to Bolster Cooperation

A 70-strong Iranian delegation from various fields such as cement, aquaculture, food, bags and shoes, clothing, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and education arrived in Moscow on Monday to boost trade relations and hold economic talks
Iran-Russia Traders Gather in Moscow to Bolster Cooperation
Iran-Russia Traders Gather in Moscow to Bolster Cooperation

Iran and Russia opened a big trade conference in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss acceleration of cooperation.
As many as 70 Iranian companies and 250 Russian companies attended the conference, Mehr News Agency reported.
Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali and other Iranian diplomats also attended the first day of the event.
According to an IRIB report, the conference was largely attended by Russian big holdings and the country’s influential businesspeople.
The Iranian ambassador to Moscow said more than 300 Russian merchants were present in the conference on Wednesday, while many others in provinces across Russia were following the seminar virtually.
Jalali said the event heralds a leap in relations between Iran and Russia.
Another conference was held between the two sides at the venue of Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Moscow on Thursday with the participation of representatives of more than 350 Iranian and Russian companies.
The Iranian ambassador to Russia, the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Alireza Peyman-Pak, and President of Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergey Katyrin delivered speeches regarding the two countries’ capacities for economic and trade cooperation.
Representatives of 70 Iranian and 300 Russian companies in nine sectors, including industry, technology, petrochemicals, medicine and food, held face-to-face business meetings and negotiations.
The Iranian delegation arrived in the Russian capital on Monday to boost trade relations and hold economic talks with Russia.
The delegation is from various fields, such as cement, aquaculture, food, bags and shoes, clothing, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and education.



Planning More Trade Shows to Boost Ties

The two sides have signed an agreement to host more joint trade events and exhibitions to expand commercial and investment ties, IRIB reported.
The Iranian delegation met Russian counterparts at the Expocentre in Moscow on Thursday. 
The meeting comes as the US and Europe are ratcheting up sanctions on Russia’s economy over the conflict in Ukraine. 
Iran, one of the world’s most heavily sanctioned countries, sees Moscow as an important strategic ally, Bloomberg reported.
Russia is a participant in stalled negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that the US abandoned four years ago. The accord was designed to ease sanctions on Tehran in exchange for strict caps on its nuclear program. 
In September, Moscow will host the second “Eurasia Expo,” a trade event involving Iran, Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union. The first event was in Tehran last year.



Iran, Russia Ramp Up Efforts to Evade US Sanctions: US Media

Iran and Russia are ramping up efforts to bust US sanctions, wrote The Washington Free Beacon. Excerpts from the text follow:
Both countries are suffering under the weight of US sanctions and have moved closer to each other as part of a bid to establish a black-market hub that can evade these measures.
The US administration is moving to unwind sanctions on Iran as part of a new nuclear deal, which will enable Moscow to use Tehran as a vehicle for its bid to skirt international pressure. 
It is likely the new deal will effectively create a "sanctions evasion hub" in Iran for Russian President Vladimir Putin as international sanctions on Moscow increase, according to a policy analysis circulating on Capitol Hill.
With Russia serving as the primary interlocutor in talks, along with China, it has pushed for all US sanctions on Iran to be lifted. Russian negotiators see Tehran as a lucrative marketplace and seek to increase Moscow's foothold in the country via concessions in the new accord.
Provisions in the new accord that will help Iran and Russia increase their economic ties have already received pushback from Republican lawmakers. They say the administration of President Joe Biden is weakening its own sanctions on Russia to finalize the new accord.



Russia Turns to Iran for Assistance With Aviation Sanctions

Moscow is looking to Iran to help it figure out how to cope with the debilitating sanctions on its aviation sector.
Speaking on March 22 at a meeting of the Economic Policy Committee in the upper house of the Russian Parliament, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said, “Russia was being guided by Iran’s experience of how to service aircraft in a similar situation.”
Tehran certainly has plenty of experience, having been the target of US and other international sanctions on and off for several decades. However, its track record suggests its advice might be of limited use to Moscow, according to Forbes.
Iran has been prevented from receiving spare parts or new planes from international manufacturers for many years, but the country’s airlines have managed to keep flying, largely by using some planes for spare parts. Of its fleet of around 250 aircraft in 2018, around 100 of them were grounded because they had either broken down or been stripped for parts.
When Iran has had a chance to buy western jets, it has jumped at the opportunity. During a brief lull in international sanctions following the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, Iranian airlines put in orders for more than 300 new aircraft from Airbus, Boeing and ATR. However, just a handful of the planes were ordered before the US pulled out of the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018.
Thereafter, it looked around for alternatives to western aircraft, but found any deals difficult to complete. Agreements were announced in 2018 for two Iranian airlines – Aseman Airlines and Iran Air Tours – to buy 40 Sukhoi SuperJet 100 from Russia at a list price of around $2 billion, but the deal collapsed due to sanctions. Iran even began to look at developing its own passenger plane, but that project suffered from a shortage of funding.
In the absence of any new aircraft being available, Iran has had to turn to the secondhand market to buy much older planes. On March 16, the head of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, Mohammad Mohammadi-Bakhsh, said Iranian airlines had bought 10 passenger aircraft with an average age of 15-20 years over the past three months. It is not clear where they are coming from.



Bilateral Trade Topped $4b in 2021

According to the Federal Customs Service of Russia, the volume of trade exchanged between Iran and Russia in 2021 topped $4 billion, registering a dramatic 81.7% rise as compared to the year before.
Russia’s export to Iran hit $3.068 billion, recording a 2.2% rise while Russia’s import from Iran hit $967.3 billion, registering a 21.4% growth.
Iran’s share of total financial turnover of foreign trade of the Russian Federation increased from 0.4% in 2020 to 0.5% last year, Mehr News Agency reported.
"Agricultural produce account for about 80% in trade turnover between the countries. Grains and oil-bearing crops [oilseeds] moved up in our export in the first instance. Export of vaccines can be noted among new positions; our relevant supplies to Iran totaled $45 million," Russian Trade Representative in Iran Rustam Zhiganshin told TASS.
"Implementation of certain projects in the energy sphere is underway, which became more active in 2021. This backed the turnover growth over the last year." 
Zhiganshin noted that vegetables, fruits, dried fruits and nuts are imported from Iran.



Growing Demand for Grain in Exchange for Fruits, Vegetables

The demand for Russian goods in Iran is growing from year to year amid a shortage of areas under crops and growing consumption in the country, Chairman of the Russian-Iranian Business Council Vladimir Obydenov told TASS in an interview.
"The demand for grain from the Russian Federation is growing increasingly in view of shortage of cultivation areas and rising consumption," he said. "It is worth to remind that Iran came out on top among Russian grain buyers in 2021. It is obvious such a trend will continue." 
Obydenov noted that the Russian market is being progressively filled with Iranian goods. 
"Fruits and vegetables of high quality from Iran are slowly but steadily consolidating their hold on shelves of our stores, competing increasingly with products from Turkey, Egypt and Azerbaijan," he said.
"Iranian industrial goods: petrochemical products, laundry and home care and construction materials are gradually taking their niche in Russia." 
Iran became Russia's largest grain importer, importing 3.7 million tons of grain in the agricultural year from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, according to analytical company Prozerno.
"For the first three months of the new season 2021-22, exports to Iran from Russia amounted to 3.697 million tons of grain, including 3.091 million tons of wheat, 392,600 tons of barley and 215,300 tons of corn. Thus, Iran reached first place not only among the importers of Russian wheat and corn, but also in the overall standings for all grain types," the statement said.
Experts estimate that Turkey purchased 3.523 million tons of Russian grain, including 2.87 million tons of wheat, 569,200 tons of barley and 73,100 tons of corn. Egypt came in third place with 1.69 million tons of wheat.

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