Economy, Business And Markets

BMI to Resume Coop. With Russia Banks 

BMI to Resume Coop. With Russia Banks BMI to Resume Coop. With Russia Banks 

Bank Melli Iran, Iran’s biggest bank which is also the largest in the Middle East, hopes to restore correspondent relations with major Russian banks soon, now that the sanctions have been lifted, according to the head of BMI’s Russian branch, Mir Business Bank.

Most Russian banks cut relations with Iranian banks in the past few years due to the international sanctions against Tehran imposed over its disputed nuclear program. The sanctions were lifted earlier this year, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report in January stating that Tehran had adhered to the nuclear accord signed between Iran and the six world powers.

“We have to restart our correspondent relations with big banks and have started the process. Hopefully this relationship will be reestablished shortly,” Mohammad Hazzar told RIA Novosti.

When asked whether it is possible to reestablish correspondent relations between Russian and Iranian banks this year, Hazzar said “it is in process. Hopefully it will start in the next month.”

According to Hazzar, BMI recently held negotiations with Russia’s Vneshtorgbank (VTB), Vneshekonombank (VEB), Gazprombank and Sberbank on ways to restart collaboration.

BMI is involved in the Russia-Iran $5-billion credit deal, which envisages funds for Iranian projects mainly connected with Russian exports and services. Transfers and settlements for these projects are expected to be done by VEB through BMI.

“Maybe we will forge a cooperation deal with VEB in processing this credit line,” Hazzar said in the interview.

Mir Business Bank is the only Iranian-founded bank operating in Russia. Prior to its establishment, Bank Melli Iran was operating in Moscow.  The bank is 100% owned by the Iranian government and has a central office in Moscow and another in Russia’s Caspian Sea city of Astrakhan.