Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran, Russia to Boost Trade Ties Amid Sanctions

Iran, Russia to Boost Trade Ties Amid SanctionsIran, Russia to Boost Trade Ties Amid Sanctions

The total value of Iran’s exports to Russia amounted to $400 million in the first 11 months of the current Iranian year, which ends on March 20, half the level of exports to the northern neighbor during the similar period last year, head of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce, Assadollah Asgaroladi said on Tuesday.

“Iran’s exports to Russia were affected by western sanctions on certain sectors of Russia’s economy which caused the ruble – Russia’s national currency – to lose almost two-thirds of its value against the US dollar this year,” he was quoted by ILNA as saying.

Russia’s finance minister recently said if oil prices remain at their current low levels and Russia’s economy fails to pick up, Russia’s budget revenues may fall short by a trillion rubles ($21 billion).

“Iran and Russia are due to sign an agreement that could facilitate the export of red and white meat from Iran to Russia,” said Asgaroladi, adding: “Iran is ready to commence its exports to Russia as of the beginning of the next fiscal year (21 March) after the agreement is endorsed by the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance— the executive body in Russia in charge of control and supervision in the field of veterinary science.”

Iran is already exporting different products to Russia including petrochemical, food and fishery products, said the official, expressing hope that the exports of such products would increase in the upcoming year.

Iran and Russia are trying to forge a new economic alliance in the face of sanctions imposed by the West on both countries’ economies. Considering that the two countries share a common stance on the international issues, both countries agree that their bilateral trade, currently standing at $1.7 billion, can reach at least twice the current value.

In spite of the enthusiasm shown by both the Iranian and Russian governments to boost bilateral trade, hurdles such as high import duties and lack of direct trading routes (air, sea or road) between the two countries are major stumbling blocks to bilateral trade.

 Russian Veterinary Experts in Tehran

A team of experts from the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance arrived in Tehran on Sunday this week to test the quality of Iran’s dairy and poultry products, including fertilized and edible eggs to be exported to the Russian market.

The visit followed previous negotiations between Tehran and Moscow to facilitate food exports from Iran to Russia, IRNA reported on Monday.

“Russian experts are scheduled to hold meetings with their Iranian counterparts and inspect a number of manufacturing units in the current week. If they come up with positive results, they will authorize the export of the products to the Russian Federation,” suggests the report.

In December last year, head of Iran’s Veterinary Organization, Mehdi Khalaj and deputy director of Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Alexey Alekseenko signed a memorandum of understanding, according to which the Russian representatives officially authorized export of Iran’s fishery products to Russia.