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Iran’s trade with Russia grew largest in 2016: Envoy

Iran’s trade with Russia saw the highest growth in 2016, says Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Sanai as the two countries are gearing up for President Hassan Rouhani’s imminent visit to Moscow.

Russia’s Rossiya Segodnya quoted him as saying on Wednesday “I believe this trend will be maintained in the next two or three years and bilateral trade volume will reach $10 billion.”

According to Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Asian Affairs, trade turnover between Iran and Russia rose 80% to more than $2 billion in 2016, with energy, agriculture and defense sales forming the bulk of the transactions.

President Rouhani is about to visit Moscow soon, during which 11 documents are expected to be signed for cooperation, Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi has said.

Vaezi said the two sides were attempting to put into operation an energy agreement under which Iran would export 100,000 barrels per day of oil to Russia.

According to Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Iran would supply the oil within the framework of the “oil-for-goods” arrangement between the countries.

Russian officials have said the total value of the goods that Russia could deliver to Iran under the “oil-for-goods” deal would reach $45 billion annually.

The arrangement calls for 50% of payment in the form of goods such as railroad items, heavy trucks and aviation industry and another 50% in cash.

The two countries are also due to discuss the creation of a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran during President Rouhani’s visit.

The EAEU is a regional political and economic bloc that aims to optimize the flow of goods and services between its members. Its current member states are Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

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