Tehran, Jun 23 (EFE).- Iran and Russia, who are both under heavy US-led sanctions, were working to deepen their economic and energy cooperation, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday during a visit to Tehran.
In a press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Russia’s top diplomat stated that both countries have a duty to grow their bilateral relationship.
“It is our duty to expand our relations, while the United States and its sanction partners try to avoid our relations,” said Lavrov, who arrived in Tehran on a two-day visit on Wednesday.
“We have to find a way to expand relations in energy, transport and agriculture, finance and customs,” he continued.
Lavrov pointed out that trade between the two countries had risen by 80% last year, which he hoped would increase after signing a new agreement.
“We are working on a great agreement, at the initiative of the Iranian president,” he said.
Abdollahian said that “sanction neutralization is on the agenda of Iran and Russia,” without providing further details.
During a meeting with Lavrov on Wednesday, Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi said: “Strengthening cooperation and coordination is an effective way to counter US sanctions and economic unilateralism against independent nations.”
Iran has been under US sanctions since Washington pulled out of the nuclear pact in 2018, while Russia has been subjected to increasingly tough Western sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Iran and Russia have strengthened their ties in recent months: in January, Raisi paid a visit to Russia, while Abdollahian has traveled to Moscow twice in less than a year.
Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak also visited Tehran at the end of May to expand cooperation and increase bilateral trade.
Lavrov’s trip to Tehran comes after recent visits by senior officials such as Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and Pakistani foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto.EFE