Economy, Domestic Economy

Moscow, Tehran Double Down on Trade Negotiations

Moscow, Tehran Double Down on  Trade NegotiationsMoscow, Tehran Double Down on  Trade Negotiations

As Russia is looking for new markets amid the prospects of sanctions removal, dozens of companies from the state-backed Russian Railways and other high-profile companies displayed their products and services at Tehran’s International Fairground this week.

Russian industry is hurting badly. The ruble has hit rock bottom this year after a tit-for-tat sanctions agenda with the European Union. In addition, Russia’s recent altercation with long-time trading partner Turkey over a downed jet has taken another chunk out of the country’s GDP–it also practically killed Turkey’s tourism industry.

Knowing this, Russia is now looking for markets beyond their traditional trading partners in the West. Iran, coming out of its own sanctions period is the obvious target for a plethora of reasons.

Firstly, Tehran’s position on the Syrian conflict has found sound resonance in Moscow and the recent development of the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement group of countries is likely to give Iran access to a range of new markets, one of them being Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Russian companies, both Kremlin-backed and private, also see the thawing of Iran’s economy as its main driver of growth and this is apparent during the course of the three-day trade event.

One of the large-scale exhibitions during the event is by Russian airplane giant Tupolev that sells planes in the same range of Boeing and Airbus.

One representative from the group, Leonid Dimlevich, said the company has officially been in talks with Iranian airline companies, including Iran Air, Mahan and Kish Airline. “And they are likely to make purchases soon,” he added.

Kish Airlines has denied any such negotiations, IRNA reported, and the two other companies are yet to make comments.  

The company’s representative said Tu-204CM, which is the latest model to be made by the company, is being considered by Iranian companies.  

Viktor Kladov, the head of International Cooperation for ROSTEC, a Russian state company, said, “We concluded an agreement with local agencies, which included servicing of new electronics [for helicopters].”

Kladov said the bestseller in the Iranian market is the MI-17 helicopter but noted, “We have added a new range of planes and plan to refurbish many on the ground already.”

The event, which came to an end on Wednesday, was not just another trade show like many European companies have done in the past few months. This is likely the first stage in a new level of relations between Tehran and Moscow, so expect to see a lot more of Russia.